Oregon County Closes Schools Indefinitely
The defeat of a $2.9-million tax-increase proposal last Tuesday forced the superintendent of the Estacada School District in Clackamas County, Ore., to close the schools on Friday and announce that they would remain closed until further notice.
School Superintendent Terry Waters said that school employees received termination notices Wednesday afternoon following the 149-vote defeat of the proposal. The unofficial vote tally was 1,635 in favor of the tax increase and 1,784 against, according to the county clerk's office.
Voters in the school district turned down four similar proposals during the past year, according to Estacada High School Principal Le Roy Key. Three other school systems in the6state have been forced to close their doors during the past five years due to the defeat of millage proposals.
Mr. Waters said the school board will ask the county elections board to grant a special election seeking a tax increase before the end of the year.
Mr. Waters said the district's 2,500 students would have to make their own arrangements in order to enroll in adjoining school systems.
"The voters' decision to turn down the proposal will have a grave effect on the district's high-school seniors," predicted Mr. Key. "Many of them have said they cannot understand how so many people who attended and graduated from this high school could vote to deny them the same opportunity."