For a Kanawha County resident with a home appraised at $100,000 and vehicles appraised at $15,000, the passage of the levy would have amounted to an increase of about $125 in taxes per year.
Kanawha County School officials have warned that the failure of the levy would lead to cutbacks and could force students to pay to participate in sports and other extracurricular activities.
The funding would have been earmarked for new facilities, technology upgrades, special student programs and more.
The consequences for Kanawha County Public Libraries could be much worse, with officials warning of potential branch closures.
The state Supreme Court ruled earlier this year that the school board no longer has to financially support the library system, meaning a loss of 40 percent of the library's total operating budget.
The passage of the levy would have brought the library back to the steady funding stream it had prior to the court decision.
Kanawha County Board of Education President Pete Thaw had campaigned against the levy, while the rest of the school board members, and the county's principals, voiced their support.
Thaw said Saturday the people of Kanawha County should be congratulated.
"They have voted [down] a very large and very dangerous, explosive grenade tonight," Thaw said. "God bless them. They were able to look through all the smoke and the mirrors and saw the truth. [They] identified the man behind the screen like the Wizard of Oz. They've identified him now.
"This was a wise, wise decision by the people of Kanawha County, and God bless them."
Reach Lori Kersey at lori.ker...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1240.
Reach Mackenzie Mays at 304-348-481 4 or Mackenzie.m...@wvgazette.com.