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Orono Public Schools.

ORONO — Voters in the Orono School District voted down a technology levy on Tuesday, Nov. 5, according to unofficial results from the Secretary of State’s website.

"Of course, we are disappointed that the technology renewal was unsuccessful, but will continue our work in achieving the excellent results this community has come to expect. We are a resilient organization," Orono Superintendent Karen Orcutt said in an email to Lakeshore Weekly News. "Our hard-working staff and students are nationally recognized for their excellence. The technology improvements we asked the community to support — because the state does not — are necessary to ensure future success for every learner."

Orcutt also noted, "We congratulate three great board members on their wins."

The school district said the proposed levy, which would replace the current technology levy that expires in 2021, would have generated an additional $1 million a year for the district’s technology initiatives.

The levy failed, with 1,399 people (55.67%) voting no and 1,114 (44.33%) voting yes, the Secretary of State’s website shows.

Orono School Board member Michael Bash, who was re-elected on Tuesday, said he was disappointed the levy did not pass, telling Lakeshore Weekly News, “We clearly didn’t do a good enough job of sharing with the voters why that’s important.”

Laura Wallander, who was also re-elected to the Orono School Board, also expressed disappointment that the levy didn’t pass.

Reporter Eden Teller contributed to this report.

Melissa Turtinen is the community editor for Lakeshore Weekly News and Eden Prairie News. She's passionate about adding context to stories and informing people about what's going on in their community. She enjoys being outside, traveling and good beer.


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