For the first time in more than a year, Revere Schools have had success at the polls. Voters passed a 4.56-mill renewal levy. Of 3,062 ballots cast, only 772 voted against it. There are 14,926 registered voters in the district.
Dave Gifford, president of the pro-levy group F.A.C.T.S. (Families and Community Together for Schools), said 57 members of his group made 1,650 calls in the days before the vote. "Only 40 to 50 percent of parents voted last time," Gifford said. "We wanted to make sure everyone knew about the special election."
In the past, Revere levy proponents have faced organized opposition from another local group Citizens for Responsible School Administration, and two tries for new money were defeated by voters last year. The group withdrew its opposition to the current renewal levy at the end of 2010 because the issue doesn't raise taxes and the money will not be spent on teacher or administrative pay raises.
Members of F.A.C.T.S. gathered at Musketeers in Richfield to wait for the returns Tuesday.
When the results came in, the group of about 25 parents and students whooped their approval and started chanting "We are Revere."
Among the revelers was Ron Garman, a sixth-grade reading teacher at "We were very optimistic that we would get the right people out there," he said. "Levies are tough. It's an economy thing, a tax is one of very few things someone can just say no to.
"We wanted to stress to people that voting (for the levy) was the right thing to do," Garman said. "It's time to pay it forward."
The renewal levy will raise 14 percent of the district's operating budget.
However, the approval is far from the end of Revere's money troubles. The district now has three months to gain support for a 4.85-mill emergency levy that would raise $4.7 million annually. That vote comes in May.