Prop Learn Fails to Pass


Senor Amber Pryor holds a Prop Learn sign outside of a polling booth on Apr. 13. The FHN Young Democrats stood outside polling stations in the FHSD area to convince voters to vote in support of the tax levy. Prop Learn failed by a mere 3%, forcing the Board of Education to start thinking of new ways to save money. (Photo submitted)

By Hannah Wilson

In a loss by 627 votes, Proposition Learn failed to pass, leaving the district short on funds. Prop Learn was the third tax levy in four years that hasn’t passed, each year the margin getting smaller and smaller. Because of this, the district has had to make sacrifices, such as freezing teachers’ salaries, cutting some extracurriculars and delaying the advancement of technology into classrooms.

“I just think the failure of Prop L is disappointing because I would hope that the community as a whole, whether they have kids or not in our district, would understand how important it is to give our kids the best chance possible,” science teacher Dawn Hahn said. “As a group of teachers, I feel that we’ve insulated students from a lot of the cuts that we’ve seen because we’re not going to allow the kids to be affected that way, and it’s frustrating that the community doesn’t realize that we have been doing that already and it doesn’t seem to matter.”

Before the election, the district was able to make reductions in order to prepare for the tax levy not passing. Now, they are able to continue with the same services offered due to those reductions. But, because the levy did not pass, they are now unable to implement aspects of their strategic plan. The strategic plan committee was made of teachers, parents, district staff and community members in order to try and provide services to those in the district, like offering more emotional support for students and teachers and providing more technology in the classrooms.

“Proposition Learn would have allowed us to dedicate new resources to initiatives that we think would move us forward,” Kevin Supple chief operating officer of finance said. “Now we are going to have to figure out what it is that we are going to have to do differently in order to do the things we think are important. So, we are going to have to make some very hard choices.”

Even though they have planned for the short term, the district must begin to discuss long-term solutions. According to Superintendent Mary Hendricks-Harris, the district will be focusing on prioritizing the things that they think is most important to hold on to. With this comes the potential of cutting extracurriculars, cutting technology and making cuts to the services that students get.

“I do think it’s a shame,” Hendricks-Harris said. “We have a great vision for where we want to be and for our students and it’s very difficult for us to accept the fact that is not what our community wants. We are going to make our adjustments and we are going to do our best everyday for our students. That’s who we are. We’ll regroup and we will figure out a way to move forward.”