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Moorhead elections deny school funding

The Moorhead Area Public Schools operating levy referendum did not pass in the school board special election Nov. 3.

According to the District 152 website after the voting polls closed on election night, community members voted no 4,195 to 4,078 yes.

Publications released by Independent School District 152 assert that if the levy had been approved, it would have provided the Moorhead school district an additional $850 dollars a year for each student, for seven years, starting in the 2010-2011 school year.

The publications said the funds the levy would have provided would have been used to keep and increase curriculum options for students. These would have included languages, arts, science, engineering, math, and technology education.

It is unclear exactly what reductions within the district will be.

Pam Gibb, communication coordinator for District 152, said specifics on what will be cut from the district’s budget has not been decided yet, and will need to be discussed following the vote.

Gibb said the district was waiting until after the vote results came in to decide what changes will be made to the programming. Gibb referenced the district’s publications on the levy which said, “further reduction in staff, services, and programs” will occur within the district because the levy did not pass.

Dave Lawrence, assistant principal of Moorhead High School, said students in the high school’s student council, band, and orchestra were active in asking community members to vote yes during the weeks leading up to the vote.

Students at Moorhead High School handed out cards with information about the operating levy referendum at the entrances of various school events, including football and volleyball games said Lawrence.

“It’s a pretty driven group of kids,” he said.

Like Gibb, Lawrence said specifics on the impact of the vote’s results are unknown.

Lawrence said he was aware of rumors about what would be cut from the district’s budget if the levy was not passed, but did not know of any specific programs the schools would remove.

“Nothing has been decided yet,” he said.

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