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Voters reject $23 million Stevens Point school referendum

A sample ballot in the Stevens Point school referendum.
A sample ballot in the Stevens Point school referendum.

STEVENS POINT, Wis. (WSAU) – Stevens Point school leaders will be forced to make some tough budget cuts after voters rejected a $23 million operating referendum.

The referendum failed 4620 to 5469.

The referendum would have kept the district operating at current spending levels above a state-limited revenue cap.

Superintendent Steven Johnson thinks last night's vote wasn't a vote against education, but rather a reflection of people's uncertainty about funding and their own fiscal outlook. He says his office will crunch the numbers, and bring a new plan to make up that structural deficit to the school board for review.

School board member Elmer Fournier says the board's job is to reflect the will of the voters, and the voters decided last night that they didn't want that funding for the district. He also added that a previous referendum that passed was likely boosted by both midterm elections, and a number of constitutional questions including capital punishment and the gay marriage ban.

School board members will likely go over the results at their next meeting.