School District Asking for Tax Hike to Start Football Program

HASKELL, AR - Officials in the Harmony Grove School District are asking voters to raise their property taxes to finance a new football program.

The measure, which would raise about $1 million, will be on Tuesday's ballot.

Voters in the district in rural Saline County turned away a similar proposal in September.  The money would fund a stadium and equipment for the district's 850 students.

The district wants to phase in football by starting with a program for fifth-through-eighth graders.  Eventually, the district would field a high school team.  The proposed stadium would be constructed on the campus south of Benton.

Harmony Grove School Board President Normal Caldwell said the district now is of a size that it should have a football program.  He said not having football is causing some students to leave the district.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)