Altoona School District returns to drawing board after referendum fails

(WEAU) - An important day for elections turned into an important day for school referendums.

The Altoona School District hoped to pass another referendum on the night of primary elections.

It would be their fifth proposed referendum in 10 years, but the community voted against it.

"Parents and the community can be reassured that for next year the programming will look pretty much the way it does this year," said Greg Fahrman, Altoona School District Superintendent.

The referendum was meant to bring back electives at the high school and staff for technological support.

"It’s really a flawed system, we shouldn't be dealing with referendums, it takes away from the important things we do with kids," said Greg.

The cuts won't affect class sizes or programming, but rather refinance one of the school's loans.

Meanwhile, the incoming superintendent says she feels disappointed about the vote, but feels it’s only a minor speed bump.

"What I will do is look closely at what's happened when they passed or not and then move forward," said incoming Altoona Superintendent, Connie Biedron in a phone interview.

If the referendum would have passed, tax payers would have paid an additional 200 dollars on a 150,000 dollar home, and they shared why they voted yes or no.

"I'm surprised it didn't pass, although I'm relieved that it didn't pass because I'm not really sure if the money is going to go to the best benefit of the kids or will it go to just extra expenses that don't really matter," said property owner Rebecca Cook.

"We voted yes for it, we thought it was worthwhile, I believe it was for technology updates and I mean the kids are our future," said Veronica Lebeis who lives in Altoona.

The superintendent says there may be another referendum that has the potential to pass in November.

Fahrman is retiring at the end of the school year, and says he's learned to not take these votes personally.


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