Texarkana, TX 77° View Live Radar Wed H 77° L 59° Thu H 75° L 57° Fri H 79° L 63° Weather Sponsored By:

Voters snub tax increase to build school

Voters snub tax increase to build school

September 21st, 2017 by Jennifer Middleton in Texarkana News

Tuesday, voters in Ashdown School District turned down a proposed $3.9 million tax increase to build a new elementary school. Unofficial numbers show 564 voted for the $15.4 million bond measure, with 677 voting against. According to the Little River County Clerk's office, there are 5,124 registered voters in the Ashdown School District. There are also 88 voters in Sevier County who are eligible to vote in the election, as they live in the Ben Lohman area, which is part of the school district.

Voters also turned down a similar measure last year, with that one failing by 38 votes.

Superintendent Jason Sanders said he and the board are going to sit back, take a breath, and make a plan on how to improve the district's existing schools.

"I want to express thanks to all those who worked hard to get this passed, those to took the time to come to meetings," he said. "Of course we're disappointed, but the sun came up this morning and it'll come up tomorrow. Now, we're going to do our best to educate our kids and prepare for the future."

The proposed increase would have raised the tax rate from $35.7 million to $39.6 million. The $15.4 million generated by the increase would have been used to consolidate all three elementary campuses into one and make some improvements at the junior high building.

Ashdown also received notice in June that they were eligible for $810,000 in partnership money from the state. Sanders said the full amount, which was determined by using a wealth index percentage of the $15.4 million bond amount, will not be available for them to use since the bond failed to pass. He said he's made calls to Little Rock to see what the next step will be, and if they can now get any money at all from the state.

"I'm going to do everything I can to secure as much of that money as I can," he said. If the district does not improve the schools within a four-year window, they lose the opportunity to use the state funds.

As for which school will be first on the list to be improved, Sanders said he didn't know at this point.

"That's the next step, getting everyone together," he said. "The leadership team and the board will begin the process at the next board meeting."

Getting Started/Comments Policy

Getting started

  1. 1. If you frequently comment on news websites then you may already have a Disqus account. If so, click the "Login" button at the top right of the comment widget and choose whether you'd rather log in with Facebook, Twitter, Google, or a Disqus account.
  2. 2. If you've forgotten your password, Disqus will email you a link that will allow you to create a new one. Easy!
  3. 3. If you're not a member yet, Disqus will go ahead and register you. It's seamless and takes about 10 seconds.
  4. 4. To register, either go through the login process or just click in the box that says "join the discussion," type your comment, and either choose a social media platform to log you in or create a Disqus account with your email address.
  5. 5. If you use Twitter, Facebook or Google to log in, you will need to stay logged into that platform in order to comment. If you create a Disqus account instead, you'll need to remember your Disqus password. Either way, you can change your display name if you'd rather not show off your real name.
  6. 6. Don't be a huge jerk or do anything illegal, and you'll be fine.

Texarkana Gazette Comments Policy

The Texarkana Gazette web sites include interactive areas in which users can express opinions and share ideas and information. We cannot and do not monitor all of the material submitted to the website. Additionally, we do not control, and are not responsible for, content submitted by users. By using the web sites, you may be exposed to content that you may find offensive, indecent, inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise objectionable. You agree that you must evaluate, and bear all risks associated with, the use of the Gazette web sites and any content on the Gazette web sites, including, but not limited to, whether you should rely on such content. Notwithstanding the foregoing, you acknowledge that we shall have the right (but not the obligation) to review any content that you have submitted to the Gazette, and to reject, delete, disable, or remove any content that we determine, in our sole discretion, (a) does not comply with the terms and conditions of this agreement; (b) might violate any law, infringe upon the rights of third parties, or subject us to liability for any reason; or (c) might adversely affect our public image, reputation or goodwill. Moreover, we reserve the right to reject, delete, disable, or remove any content at any time, for the reasons set forth above, for any other reason, or for no reason. If you believe that any content on any of the Gazette web sites infringes upon any copyrights that you own, please contact us pursuant to the procedures outlined in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (Title 17 U.S.C. § 512) at the following address:

Copyright Agent
The Texarkana Gazette
15 Pine Street
Texarkana, TX 75501
Phone: 903-794-3311
Email: webeditor@texarkanagazette.com