Sussex County Voters Nix $7.35 Million Indian River School Distr - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Sussex County Voters Nix $7.35 Million Indian River School District Referendum

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SUSSEX COUNTY, Del. - The Indian River School district lost a vote to approve more than $7 million dollars in funds in a referendum on Tuesday night.

According to the district, the decision was made by only 30 votes, with 3,351 people voting against the referendum, and 3,321 people voting for it.

According to the Indian River School District Superintendent Susan Bunting, the money would have been used to hire more teachers, update the schools’ software, replace textbooks and technology like computers and fund student programs.

The school district released a statement Tuesday night saying, in part, “While disappointed, we respect the wishes of our public and the workings of the democratic process. In the coming weeks, we will go back to the drawing board to re-evaluate our needs and formulate strategies to accommodate our rapid growth in student enrollment.”

The $7.35 million would have come out of property taxes for property owners in the Indian River School District. If the referendum had passed, the district estimated it would cost property owners an extra $95 a year.

Tuesday night’s vote against the referendum comes in the wake of a recent audit that claimed the school district had irresponsible fiscal practices.

According to the school, it is possible to seek a similar referendum next year. Superintendent Bunting says that's most likely what will happen. She says she hopes voters will consider the students if the referendum goes up again next year.

"Their vote today was a vote not for the students," she said. "Many people did vote for the students, it varied in each of our six polling places. But the referendum is for the sake and the benefit of the students. and their education." 

IRSD Referendum Results by Polling Place (Table provided by IRSD)

POLLING PLACE

FOR

AGAINST TOTAL "FOR" PERCENT
Georgetown Elementary 638

606

1,244 51%
Indian River High 407 455 862 47%
Long Neck Elementary 352 531 883 40%
Lord Baltimore Elementary 837 793 1,630 51%
Selbyville Middle 368 371 739 50%
East Millsboro 647 550 1,197 54%
Absentee 72 45 117
TOTAL VOTES 3,321 3,351 6,672 50%

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