Valley Stream

Abbeville Co. voters reject bond referendum, citing concerns about cost, crowding at schools – Valley Stream, New York

Valley Stream, New York 2022-05-18 20:18:23 –

Abbeville County, South Carolina (WSPA) – Voters in Abbeville County rejected the $ 55.7 million referendum on Tuesday night, with nearly 83% of voters opposed the referendum.

“People spoke,” said Dr. Mason Gary, director of the Abbeyville County School District. “Votes didn’t do what I wanted, but it’s a new day and we have to move forward.”

The 25-year bond should have been paid for the Abbeyville High School and Dixie High School upgrades.

“There is a clear problem with the referendum,” said Tori Atkins, a parent who opposed the referendum. “Given the current economic situation, I think money is the most problematic right now.”

Without this funding, Dr. Gary said district leaders needed a solution to their aging infrastructure.

“We still need an academic space with a 70-year-old building. So the new question is what is an acceptable plan, how it is presented, designed and funded.” Said Dr. Gary.

Some voters said money was not the only issue in the referendum.

“We were mainly concerned that there was no clear plan with specific information because of the overcrowding problem in some elementary schools,” Atkins said.

Some parents were also concerned that the district would eventually consolidate the high school and move some junior high school students to Dixie as the area’s growth would fill up the classrooms.

“I always fight to maintain a community school. We need a school in our community. We are very rural,” Atkins said.

Gary said the integration was not part of the plan, but said the school board needed to consider all of its options because of the failed referendum.

“I’m not saying that about the 2022 referendum. Now that I’m back on the drafting board, can it go back? Yes, it’s possible,” Gary said.

District parents want board members to listen to the opinions of the community and reach an agreement on both sides.

“We need to do something, but we need to do it within the means for the county, which is something everyone can afford,” Atkins said.

The school board met on Tuesday and said Gary would discuss the next steps in the district.

Election results show a turnout of about 20% in special elections.

Abbeville Co. voters reject bond referendum, citing concerns about cost, crowding at schools Source link Abbeville Co. voters reject bond referendum, citing concerns about cost, crowding at schools

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