LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The Little Rock School District’s plan to extend the current tax millage, intended to allow for more improvements to school facilities, failed Tuesday night.
As the votes rolled in, the poll results showed an overwhelming number against the millage. The election results were projected around 9 p.m., when LRSD Superintendent Michael Poore said the millage would not pass.
The final numbers came in at:
65% Against – 7,167 votes 35% For – 3,938 votes
Supporters of the millage felt that extending the current tax rate would have put young people in the best position to succeed by improving their classroom learning environment. Some supporters said they thought there was an immediate need in the schools, and they needed to show support for the teachers and staff.
Those who did not support the change to the district’s tax structure had a variety of reasons for voting against it. Many opposers preferred the district had its own school board and local representation, and voted against the millage to make their opinions heard. Some said they were against the millage passing because they didn’t want the new Southwest High School built. Others opposing the millage feared it could have put the district in fiscal distress.
For a lot of people, it was much more than a discussion about taxes. Parents citywide said it had been an emotional issue on both sides of the table.
If the millage had passed, it would have brought in $160 million for the new high school and upgrades to existing schools. But opponents worried the lack of a publicly elected school board wouldn’t have given them a voice in how the money would have been spent.