Voters turn down Andover’s local option budget increase

08/07/2012 5:00 AM

08/07/2012 10:34 PM

Residents of the Andover school district voted down a proposed increase in the local option budget, which is funded by district property taxes.

On Tuesday, 851 voters cast their ballots against the increase, while 732 people voted for it.

Superintendent Mark Evans said he was disappointed about the outcome but pleased to have given people the opportunity to vote.

“We will make the most of it,” Evans said. “Obviously it was very close. I’m not sure everyone understood taxes were going down regardless.”

The district’s mill levy would have decreased no matter what the outcome. Because the measure failed, the district’s mill levy will go down about 3 mills. If the LOB had passed, the mill levy would have gone down about 2.5 mills.

Evans said he wouldn’t worry about the what-ifs and planned to focus on the upcoming school year.

“They would have made a difference for kids,” Evans said. “(But) we will have a great year regardless.”

The 1 percent LOB increase would have generated $433,000 for the district.

About 53 percent of the increase, or $228,000, was to go to fill teaching staff positions, and 15 percent of the increase was to be spent on coaches and activity sponsor positions. About $118,000, or 27 percent, would have been spent on instructional support, and $20,000, or 5 percent, would have helped with district maintenance.

State law allows Kansas school districts to raise the LOB to a maximum of 31 percent of their general budget. However, the last 1 percent of the LOB must go to a public vote.

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