For the fourth time, a proposed levy in in Randolph County to help support the county’s schools failed in an almost 2 to 1 drubbing after a special election last weekend. Funds from the levy would have gone to many different items including more educational materials and facility improvements, among other things.
Board president Amanda Smith said she doesn’t know what else the board could have done to help get the message out.
“We put a lot of effort forth to be in every part of the county we could be, to be as transparent as possible, to let the public know what was in this levy, and it’s just really disappointing,” said Smith.
Without the levy, Randolph County schools may be seeing some changes as early as the next school year. The county has far more teachers than its funding formula allows, and declining enrollment and loss of other major money sources means that the status quo is no long sustainable.
“We’re going to probably start seeing some changes this year, because we’re going to have to get our levy in line, with not the loss of those other revenues, we did lose pretty close to eighty-some students, which also will take money out of our budget for next year,” said Superintendent Gabriel Devono.
But the thing that upset Devono the most during the campaign wasn’t the loss. Students in county schools got engaged in the campaign to promote the levy and faced criticism online for their efforts that Devono said was uncalled for.
“We’ve had people on Facebook and everything criticize and was rude to these students because of what they were believing in. That’s what really bothered me more than losing the levy, was how my students were treated,” said Devono.