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Faulkton Voters To Decide Opt Out

March 18, 2014, 5:30 PM by Erich Schaffhauser

Faulkton Voters To Decide Opt Out
FAULKTON, SD -

Lawmakers passed a state budget that sent more money to schools but a northeast South Dakota superintendent says his district needs more.

Voters in the Faulkton district are letting the school board know if they're OK with giving more money to local education. The school board is asking them to approve an opt out that would allow the school to collect up to an additional $450,000 per year for five years.

"The resolution between higher taxes, which nobody likes, and then viability of our school, which everybody thinks is very important to have part of our community," David Hadrick said.

That's what ran through Hadrick's mind as he made a decision and cast a ballot.

At the school, superintendent Joel Price says the state increase passed by lawmakers this year will bring close to an additional $50,000 to the district.

"It's going to help, absolutely but again our costs continue to rise in other areas," Price said.

Price says staff, programs and services could all face the chopping block if more money doesn't come from somewhere.  Without the additional money, Price says the school could be looking at a budget cut of up to 20 percent.

"You can imagine what it would be like to cut 20 percent of your household budget. It would be catastrophic," Price said.

But voters face expenses too. Some are asking exactly where the additional property taxes will go if the opt out passes.

"What I was thinking of is how the school has spent money in the past," Rosene Royce said.

Price says board members have been answering questions leading up to the election. He joins others waiting for results.

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