Millage Means Change...Bad and Good

August 20, 2006--Posted at 6:46 p.m. CDT

CRAIGHEAD COUNTY, AR--Some schools across northeast Arkansas will have more money funneling into their district while others will be re-working their budgets. The day after a millage vote, school districts are forced to make changes...some good some bad.

For the second straight year the Jonesboro School District is looking for answers after voters turn down the district's request for a millage increase.

"Unfortunately it will mean cuts. We just can't continue to support programs, when we don't have the funds to support those programs," said Jonesboro assistant superintendent Dr. Kim Wilbanks.

The district says the first round of cuts will be the student resource officers. While the district is feeling the sting of rejection for the second time they don't plan to give up.

"We know that we just have to continue going back to our patrons asking for that support," said Wilbanks.

While Jonesboro's millage was defeated, a number of others were approved.

"The people who came out and supported it wanted and thought this is what was best for Bay students," said Bay superintendent Chip Layne.

Bay patrons voted in favor of an almost three mil increase that will be used to build a series of new facilities.

The Trumann District asked patrons for more than an eight mil increase, so that they could build a new high school.

Like Bay, Trumann felt it succeeded because voters felt the additional tax money would make a difference.

"We have to prove a need for those things. If we can prove that need, get that point across and that information out to the public, then generally, the public, if they accept that need will go out and vote for it," said Trumann superintendent Joe Waleszonia.

The Trumann District plans to break ground, in the coming months, on a 16 million dollar brand new high school on this 62 acre piece of land. It's a project they are thrilled that their patrons supported.

"Anytime you ask for a tax increase it is difficult to for people to come out and vote for those things. It proves the town of Trumann is behind this school and this project," said Waleszonia.

In addition to Jonesboro, Blytheville, Jackson County, and Maynard all saw patrons turn down millage increase.

Meanwhile, voters in Highland, Marion and Hughes School Districts all approved millage increases.