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Laurel voters turn down safety, operations levies

Laurel Schools
Posted at 8:59 PM, May 07, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-08 08:22:16-04

LAUREL - Voters in Laurel said no to four school levies Tuesday night.

The two largest measures would have cost $2 million to boost security at the high school and $1 million for security at elementary schools. The high school measure failed 1,647 to 940, 64 percent, while the elementary school measure failed 1,623 to 954, or 63 percent.

Voters also turned two general fund levies. The $330,000 levy for the high school failed with 69 percent saying no, while 65 percent of voters said no to the elementary school levy.

“I’m disappointed in the results but I mean, we’re in a really difficult financial time for everybody and schools are tightening their belts, and we’ll continue to do that at Laurel and move forward,” Laurel Superintendent Matt Torix said.

“I saw that everything in the county failed, which it is what it is. We’ll move forward, we’re still going to open the school. We’re still going to open the doors in the fall. We’re going to have kids show up and we’re going to do our best every single day for the kids of Laurel and I’m sure every other school will as well," Torix added.

He said the district will have to be choosy on what it decides to fix moving forward.

“We can permissibly levy some building reserves and we will go ahead and move forward on that probably, that’s up to the board, but we will move forward however we can. Those situations, we just won’t be able to make some of the repairs. We won’t be able to do some of the things we wanted to do," he said.

He also warned that additional cuts could be on the horizon for Laurel schools.

“I can’t imagine we won’t have to look at the building reserve levy again. Everything goes up in price and we have to constantly absorb those costs and that means potentially cutting more staff, administration, secretarial, whatever that happens to be. We’ll look at those overall and evaluate those throughout next year and make the cuts we have to in the spring. Then it’ll be up to the school board if they want to go ahead and come back with another levy.”

See the full Yellowstone County results here: