CENTRALIA – The Centralia School District levy has fallen short of gaining a simple majority approval of voters, in Tuesday’s special election, by just 26 votes.  It was the first count of ballots and more are expected to be counted Wednesday. The measure prevailed in the great majority of the district, in Lewis County, by a margin of just 6 votes; but in the small Thurston County voter base within the Centralia School District, the “no” votes nearly doubled-up the “yes” votes 66-34, potentially tipping the overall vote in favor of those opposed to the levy. Centralia School Superintendent Lisa Grant said she’ll be playing the waiting game until Wednesday afternoon, “We’re expecting another update tomorrow afternoon; we will be watching very closely tomorrow afternoon, and you know in August when additional votes were counted it helped us so I have to do some more calculations but we are really close.” Grant is prepared for either eventual outcome saying, “We are going to continue to move forward, we are going to hold out hope no matter what. We will continue to do the very best to serve out students. If this doesn’t pass we will regroup – [though] it will have an impact.” “We know we have continuing improvements to make as a district and we are going to continue making them. Our students deserve nothing less and that’s what we will give them”, Grant added. The levy seeks to fund various aspects of the school district’s programs that are not funded by the state. These include extracurricular activities, additional special needs programs and staffing, and enrichment programs. Portions of these categories are not funded at the state level and instead are proposed and voted on by local constituencies.

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