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Henning superintendent: Yes vote sends good message

Published 10:33am Wednesday, November 9, 2011 Updated 11:35am Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Henning voters decisively chose to renew taxpayer levy funding of the Henning School District by almost a 75 percent margin, with 449 votes in favor of the two levies and only 152 against. The two levies, which will raise $1,020 per student for nine years (with some of the funding staying on for another year), were already in place, and voters chose to continue them.

“It’s a good message to the school district from the community, and it gives us some fairly solid financial footing,” said Henning School Superintendent Dean Soutor.

The levies amount to about 10.5 percent of the school’s overall budget.

“It’s a part of the general fund budget, so you could use it for salaries, you could use it for low class sizes, (or) you could use it for building repair,” Soutor said. One of the school’s key focuses has been on keeping class sizes low, a goal Soutor said would have suffered if the funding stopped.

If the levies had failed, Soutor said the school board likely would start making cuts by increasing kindergarten and first grade class sizes and by slashing electives in high school.

“That’s where we’d have to start,” said Soutor, adding, “It would be an ongoing thing every year.”

Fortunately, he said, that doesn’t have to happen, and he thanked the community for its support.

“It’s a pretty good vote of confidence from the community that they like their school, they’re pleased with what’s going on and they want it to continue,” he commented.

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