Millage Extension Defeated For Little Rock Schools

May 9, 2017

File photo outside a Little Rock polling location in May 2014.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Voters gave a resounding "No" to the Little Rock School District's proposal to extend a tax millage an additional 14 years to fund improvements to schools and the construction of a new high school in southwest Little Rock. 

The vote was 3,938 (35.5 percent) for, 7,167 (64.5 percent) against.

Only a little more than 11,000 of the 110,676 registered voters in the district went to the polls.

The extension of the 12.4-mill tax from the current expiration date of 2033 to 2047 would have generated $160 million for the improvements.

Former state Senator Joyce Elliott, usually a proponent of expenditures on schools--and the taxes to support them--was one of the leaders of the opposition to this proposal.

"They can make those improvements with the funds we have now," Elliott told KUAR. "We deserve to have world-class facilities. But we were not moving toward that because we're not moving together."

Elliott, who said she's never before opposed a millage increase or extension, said she will favor addressing the district's infrastructure and facilities needs once it returns to local control. 

LRSD was taken over by the state two years ago because of preponderance of its schools were underachieving academically.