Winona School District surprised by overwhelming "no" vote - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Winona School District surprised by overwhelming "no" vote

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Winona, MN (WXOW) -

Winona School District Superintendent Richard Dahman says he's slightly surprised at the large margin of people who voted against the district's proposed $82 million referendum on Tuesday night.

By an overwhelming majority, residents in the district voted down the district's proposal to use the money to renovate two elementary schools and take care of deferred maintenance in several district buildings.

MORE: Voters Reject Referendum

"The message from the referendum not passing is in part very clear that while people understand the need, they didn't see the proposal that was put to them as the right path forward for the school district," Dahman said.

Ahead of Tuesday's vote, Dahman said the district held more than 20 informational sessions to let voters know what the needs look like in the district and why the referendum was means of fixing those problems.

"Our financial and facility needs don't go away so we need to look for ways to address and best meet our student's educational needs within the reality of our facilities and our financial situation," he said.

The district said it will return to the drawing board to try to get a better idea of what voters are willing to vote in favor of. Dahman said the risk for cuts to programming and larger class sizes remain following Tuesday night's failed referendum.

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