CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Without an excess levy that would have brought in more than $24 million for schools next year, "everything will be on the table," Kanawha County Schools superintendent Ron Duerring said Saturday.
"We will take a look at a lot of things" Duerring said. "...[We'll] systematically start doing some of those [cuts] this year so we can slow it down and then even more for next year."
Kanawha County voters said a clear "no" to the levy, with 76 percent -- or 17,590 -- voting against it and only 24 percent -- or 5,501 -- supporting it. Only 17 percent of voters voted.
Kanawha County Commission president Kent Carper called it "the largest, overwhelming defeat of a levy in this county's history."
"Unless there's some way around what's happened, the people made the choice but I think the library system in this county will not look anything like it has in the past based upon this decision," Carper said. "That's not disappointment on my part, that's just an observation."
The levy would not have affected the county commission, he added.
School board member Jim Crawford said now that the voters have spoken, the board will go back to the drawing board to decide how to proceed.
"With a projected $4.5 million deficit for 2014-15, we'll have to make some deep cuts," Crawford said.
That will likely mean students will have to pay to participate in extracurricular activities, he said. But having students pay to play will only make up about $1.3 million of that deficit, he said.
"There will be some other cuts," he said.
The excess levy would have brought in $24.4 million for schools in 2014 and about $3 million for the county's libraries. Altogether, adding up to $131 million for Kanawha County Schools over the next five years.
Kanawha County Libraries representatives left the county courthouse before election results were in. Carper said they were "absolutely demoralized" because of the levy's failure.
The purpose of the election was essentially to uncap the current school excess levy and allow for the collection of 100 percent of the amount allowed under state law, which 21 other counties currently collect for educational purposes.