In unofficial results reported by the Saline County Clark’s office, the proposed increase in millage for the Bryant School District has apparently been rejected by a total of eight votes.
On the Clark’s website, it’s reported that, unofficially, 2,643 voters cast ballots against the millage increase. 2,635 voted for it, a difference of eight votes.
School District communications director Devin Sherrill issued this release:
“Voters living in the Bryant School District rejected a 4.9 mill initiative on March 10 for academic projects to accommodate the ever-increasing growth in student population.
“‘It’s never easy to ask for a tax increase, but with our unprecedented growth the Board and administration felt that we had to ask the voters to help fund new facilities for our students,’” said Dr. Tom Kimbrell, Bryant superintendent.
“The district enrolls an average of 300 new students each year and is projected to add 3,000 students over the next 10 years. Current facilities are not adequate or suitable to accommodate the current and future growth.
“’We are disappointed in the results of the election but we are very proud of the parents, students, teachers, community members, and businesses who supported it. I believe the Bryant community values students and their education. Unfortunately, this wasn’t expressed at the polls,’” said Kimbrell.
“With two failed millage elections, the District will now be expected to meet with the State to determine next steps on providing adequate and suitable facilities to accommodate growth. Planning will include how to house new students, how much it will cost, and how to fund those costs over the next two years.
“’We are thankful for each and every individual who worked to get the word out and voted to approve the millage. We appreciate their investment in our children, in their future,’” said Kimbrell.
“If the proposal had passed, the Bryant School District planned to build a new elementary and middle school, add a cafeteria to the high school, and make security updates throughout the district. The measure would have also funded a conversion of Bryant Middle School to a junior high, plus construction of an arena and performing arts facility.”
Of 30,380 eligible to vote, there were 5,308 votes cast or 17.47 percent.