WDAY: The News Leader

Published November 03, 2010, 10:37 AM

More cutbacks inevitable after levy fails to pass

Perham, Minn. (WDAY TV) - People in Perham again voted down a school levy that would help alleviate overcrowding and add more textbooks. Since 2003 Minnesota Public Schools have had a 13% decrease in funding, causing Perham Schools to already make several cutbacks.

Tamara Uselman: "The toughest, most gut wrenching are to remove things like arts and family consumer science. And to see class sizes increase in high school to the upper 30's, we have one of 44. Those are excruciating things to do as an educational leader."

Now the board must create a new budget between now and February.

Uselman: "We start looking everywhere in the budget where we can reduce expenses, capitalize on some revenue generating ideas."

School administration held an assembly this morning here at the high school, informing students that the levy did not pass, warning them that although they don't know what yet, more cutbacks are inevitable.

Holly Karkela: "I was really disappointed because education is huge. That is what we need."

But the 55 - to - 45 percent vote showed the majority of people feel taxes are already too high including former teachers.

Gary Sheldon: "So many people today are short on the paycheck; a lot of taxes are going to be increased after January 1st we hear from the federal government. And that's a heavy load to carry."

Now administrators are worried about possibly losing students to other districts with open enrollment.