MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

November 18, 2013

Five ballots determine Crutcho school district’s bond proposal

It has 927 registered voters


Associated Press

— OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Depending on how you look at it, the bond proposal Crutcho voters considered Tuesday either sailed through or was approved by the narrowest of margins.

Voters approved the $980,000 bond proposal by a five-vote margin. But those five votes were the only ones cast in the election.

“I’m guessing that was mostly my board members,” said Teresa McAfee-Wagner, the district’s superintendent.

That guess wasn’t far off the mark. Out of the five voters, two — Antonia Jennings and Paul Keeler — are members of the Crutcho School Board, according to Oklahoma County Election Board records. McAfee-Wagner said she isn’t eligible to vote in the district, nor are any of her teachers.

Those five votes represent a fraction of a percent of the 927 registered voters in the district. McAfee-Wagner said it’s the smallest voter turnout she’s seen, but not by much. When the district passed a $1.2 million bond issue several years ago, only 11 voters showed up at the polls, she said.

Crutcho, a single-site, pre-K-8 school in eastern Oklahoma City, is a fairly low-income district, McAfee-Wagner said. All of the school’s 378 students are eligible for free or reduced lunches, and the district includes many rental properties and Section 8 housing.

District officials plan to use money from the bond issue to replace the school’s aging carpet with new wood laminate floors, upgrade the air conditioning and security systems, and maintain the technology the district has. The district gives each student a laptop to use for schoolwork, and those laptops need to be updated periodically, she said.

Although she didn’t expect a huge turnout at the election, McAfee-Wagner said she was surprised only five voters showed up to the polls.

“I was expecting a little better than that, just based on the telephone calls that we made,” she told The Oklahoman.