Rockford Schools: Voters turn down operating, technological levies

Voters in the Rockford School District on Nov. 8 saw two referendum questions on the ballot relating to funding for Rockford Area Schools. The majority of voters in those precincts said “No” to both questions.

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Question One drew 3,048 No votes and 2,046 Yes votes. Question Two drew 3,102 No votes and 1,986 Yes votes.

In Question One the district asked voters to authorize a $1,142 per pupil operating levy for nine years starting in 2017. These funds would have been used to cover classroom staffing, special education, athletic and activity programs, supplies, transportation and heating and cooling costs.

The district’s last successful referendum was seven years ago, in November 2009. This referendum expired two years ago and the district is not currently receiving any revenue from a voter-approved levy.

This operating levy is not to be confused with the $27 million bond issue that was approved by district voters in November 2012, which could only be used for buildings, grounds and infrastructure improvements.

In Question Two, the district asked voters to authorize a levy of $395,100 for taxes payable in 2017 to fund technology in the schools. The levy would have been authorized for nine years and would have amounted to an overall total of $3,555,900. The technological levy would have paid for hardware, software, network infrastructure, broadband fiber, communication technologies, WiFi and software licenses used by students and staff, technical support and training in the district.

These referendum results are unofficial, with 11 of 11 precincts reporting.

The Rockford School District had 5,807 voters registered as of 7 a.m.