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City, County School Issues Lose

City, County School Issues Lose  image
Parent Issue
Day
19
Month
December
Year
1968
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Copyright Protected
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Donated by the Ann Arbor News. © The Ann Arbor News.
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Nearly 13,000 Washtenaw County voters went to the polls yesterday to defeat all five millage and bonding propositions offered by the Ann Arbor j School District and the enaw Intermedíate School District. The one-mill proposal and $5 million bonding proposition to finance a county -wide vocational education fácility were rather narrowly defeated in the Ann Arbor School District by some j 600 votes. In the nine out-county districts, however, the Washtenaw Intermedíate School District' s proposals were rejected by a 3-to-l margin. Nick A. Ianni, superintendent of the Intermedíate School Dis trict, said this was the first time, to his knowledge, that a county-wide educational proposal has failed in the county. Proposal I of the Ann Arbor V School District's three-part, $9.5 million bonding issue - which would have provided funds for school construction and renovations - was rejected by a 450-vote margin, 4,230 "no" votes to 3,780 "yes" votes. This was the closest race of the three propositions. Proposal I was approved in Precincts 1, 2, 3 and 6 - Jones, Angelí, Burns Park and Wines schools, respectively. Proposal II, which asked for funds to finance school services and administration facilities, was soundly beaten by more than 2,300 votes - 5,114 "no" votes to 2,779 "yes" votes. It lost in all seven Ann Arbor precincts. Proposal III, which requested funds for an addition to Ann Arbor's main public library, I was turned down by 698 votes - 4,313 "no" votes to 3,615 "yes" votes. Proposal III won in Precincts 2, 3 and 6 - Angelí, Burns Park and Wines schools, i respectively. Yesterday's election marked the second time in less than a I year that an Ann Arbor School .strict bonding issue has gone f ïown to defeat. 'Last Jan. 8, a $15,525,000; bonding issue for school construction was rebuffed by a nearly 2-to-l margin. Both defeated bonding issues asked for funds to construct a fifth junior high school in northeast Ann Arbor. Last year's bonding proposa 1 requested money to build a third senior high school - request deleted from yester-i day's proposals. Joseph R. Julin, president oL the Ann Arbor Board of Education, termed the results ofl yesterday's defeat "a very bad, situation." "Unfortunately, it is not posn sible to vote the need for space away," Julin said. "The delay in meeting this need will be costly, both in dollar terms and in the crowded conditions students must accept as good enough for now and the foreseeable future. It is the right of the voter to substitute his judgment for that of the Board oi Education. This he has done. t "We will do everything possible to make the best of a very! bad situation." School Supt. W. Scott Westerman Jr. declined to commen on the election and said he and the Ann Arbor trustees will discuss future building plans at. today's school board meeting. The session begins at 7:30 p.m. at the school board offices, 1220 Wells. The Ann Arbor Education Association (AAEA) released a ■ statement this morning, saying ! its members were "deeply dis turbed" at the defeat of all f iva bonding and mmage proposais. "These are not issues which directly affect teachers ..." the AAEA said. "Our concern is with children and with the impact on them oí the loss." Predicting that the failure of Ann Arbor School District voters to approve the bonds for construction of new school facilities "may shortly lead to split sessions in the junior high schools," the AAEA urged that tax reforms be implemented immediately. (School officials up to the present time have not mentioned the possibility of split shifts at the junior highs). "The AAEA ís in full sympathy with the plight of every son paying taxes in Ann Arbor, both property owners and j ers," the statement said. "The growing number of defeated bonding and mülage proposals serves to point up the desperate need for tax reform in the state , and for increased federal support of education . . . Reform is needed now. "New and bold measures for the financing of schools must be found," the AAEA said. "The time for searching is already past. Action is needed now." The total vote turnout was about 5,000 below school officials expectations. Voter turnout in the Ann Arbor School District was considered average, with about 20 per cent of all registered voters, or 8,363 persons, going to the polls. In the out-county districts, however, voting was extremely light, with only 4,568 voters casting their ballots. School i officials had expected about 8,000 out-county votes. Nearly 14 per cent of all registered voters in Washtenaw County went to the polls yesterday. Not all persons could vote, however. _i Only property owners were allowed to vote on the Ann Arbor School District' s bond issue, as well as on Proposition II of the Intermedíate School District' s issue. Ianni told The News this morning that he and his staff are naturally "disappointed" at the results of yesterday's referendum, but he indicated the Intermedíate School District will return to the voters on the vocational school issue at a later date. Ianni's statement' said, in part: "Naturally, we are disappointed with the results of yesterday's referendum, but we are not totally discouraged. This service for our young people is too important to their well-being and to the benefit of our total community to just quit now. We would like to think that once more we have been victimized by circumstances not of our own choosing. ' ' 1 1 appears," I a n n i I tinued, "that at least 13 per cent of the registered voters of I the Intermediate School I trict yesterday were saying - I 'We don't care how meritorious I an educational service it might I be. We're just darned good and I tired'of additional taxes, especially property taxes.' "In the immediate months I aheaij, w e will determine I through discussion of our local I school people when we shall try I again. In the meantime, we I shall work in other directions for I changes as to the way I tional services are b e i n g I financed . . ." The final, county-wide tally I m on Proposal I of the I I ate School District, which I lasked permission to levy a I ■ mili tax to finance the I lal school, was 4,960 "yes" votes I ■to 7,842 "no" votes. I The total figures on Proposal II, which requested bonding authority to construct the vocational school, were 4,667 "yes" I votes to 7,689 "no" votes. I The Intermedíate School DisI trict's proposals were approved I in three Ann Arbor precincts - Precinct 2, Angelí School, Precinct 3, Burns Park School, and Precinct 6, Wines School. But they lost heavily in all nine outcounty school districts. I (Story on Whitmore Lake I school election on page 29.)

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