According to preliminary election results, 71.59% of Orem voters voted against Proposition 2.
The proposition proposed splitting from Alpine School District and forming an “Orem School District.”
22,337 votes were cast, with 6,345 voting for and 15,992 voting against the creation of an Orem school district.
Orem city hired DEC Consulting to conduct a study on the impact of creating an Orem School District. The study found that the formation of an Orem school district would be financially feasible. In August, the Orem City Council voted to put a proposition regarding an Alpine School District split on the November ballot.
There have been many differing opinions regarding Orem Proposition 2.
Orem resident Meredith Ohren voted against the proposition, favoring staying with Alpine School District. “It was a real relief to me that not only was it defeated but that it was soundly defeated,” Ohren said.
Ohren said that she worried that an Orem only school district wouldn’t be good for property taxes. She also worried that experienced teachers who were invested in Alpine School District through retirement plans would leave if Orem became its own school district.
John Barrick, an associate professor in the BYU School of Accountancy, was disappointed in the election results. He has lived in Orem since 2000 and has 5 children that have attended Orem schools. Barrick is part of Orem City Schools, a grassroots organization that advocated splitting from Alpine School District.
Barrick claimed that there has been a disinformation campaign from Alpine School District and Stronger Together, a political group that supported staying with Alpine School District.
Stronger Together had said on their website that Orem property taxes would increase by 50% if Orem became its own school district. Later on, the Utah Taxpayers Association reported that those claims were false.
“If residents are uncertain because they don’t feel like they have good information, they vote to keep the status quo,” Barrick said.
Barrick said that most people he knows believe that Alpine should be split but they just want a larger split with cities such as Lindon and Vineyard.
“The split is inevitable, so instead of talking about it, people in Orem and other cities should come together and come up with something that works best for people, for parents, for students, for teachers,” Barrick said.
Orem Mayor David Young said he wants to have good conversations in the community and see what people really want to do.
“There was a lot of division and I think a lot of that division is based on things that were not true that were being said,” Young said. “I think we have got to get over that and look at what we have in common and how we fix this.”
Mayor Young wants Orem citizens to work together on the next steps moving forward.
“Both sides have the same goal to provide the best education possible for our kids,” Young said.