Election 2022: Bennington school bond rejected
OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - One Omaha-metro school district is trying to figure out how to move forward after voters overwhelmingly rejected building a new high school on Tuesday.
The vote even created a shake-up on the school board.
Bennington Public Schools had never lost a bond vote — until last night. And it wasn’t even close.
Those against the school bond doubled up the votes compared to those who supported it.
Bennington is one of the state’s fastest-growing school districts. In 18 years, the district has gone from 600 students to 4,000.
Here’s the problem, as described to 6 News by those who said no: The $153 million bond would have added $300 to the annual tax bill for a $300,000 home.
But Bennington is a bedroom community with very little business to help soften the property tax blow.
Homeowners make up 91% percent of the valuations; 4% are businesses.
Erin Kloke helped spearhead the opposition. She told 6 News: “Our motto was ‘No for right now’ not ‘No bond ever.’ ... Home building and growth is slowing down, so our risk of being over capacity is reduced.”
The delay, she said, “is truly a benefit for Bennington taxpayers.”
But school district officials said that they’re facing issues with overcrowding.
“The high school will be over capacity with our current enrollment in 2026.”
They said they will try to manage class size the best they can and “work to develop a plan on how to engage community members on the future of the district.”
While the bond failed, school board President Mark Byers also became a casualty; he lost his seat on the board.
There are three new board members who begin duties in January; two of them ran against the bond.
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