Park Hill tax levy increase shot down

In a somewhat surprising outcome in a district known for voter support of school tax issues, the Park Hill School District levy issue went by a significant margin Tuesday evening.  The 32-cent operating levy was slated to fund the Future Learners Project (FLiP) one-to-one technology initiative. Only about 40 percent of voters approved of this increase however, and Superintendent Dr. Scott Springston said the district will need to regroup after the loss. “We’ll have to dissect the numbers and try to determine the meaning of the vote,” Springston said. “We’ll have to look at things like voter turnout and if that played a role, and there will be an open discussion with the Board.” In the Board of Education election, incumbents Boon Lee and Janice Bolin were re-elected and will be joined by newcomer Bart Klein. Lee and Bolin won nearly half the votes between the two of them, with Bolin bringing in 24 percent and Lee earning 22 percent. Klein squeaked out ahead of former Riverside city administrator David Blackburn with 17.69 percent to Blackburn’s 17.64 percent. Springston said he believes the Board is committed to pursuing the continued support of technology-rich classrooms and the FLiP program. Money has been set aside to fund FLiP for two years, which will give the Board time to determine a course of action. “We will have to figure out a plan from there,” he said. “It could be repackaging the levy, looking into budget reductions or efficiencies in other areas, or even a combination of those."