FAIRMONT - Voters approved an operating levy increase for Fairmont Area Schools on Tuesday night, with 63 percent in favor of the measure.
Voting for the increase were 4,058 people, while 2,411 people voted against.
The yes vote means the current $500 per pupil levy will be revoked and replaced with a $950 per pupil levy.
"It is such a relief," said new school board member Nicole Green. "But we still have a lot of work to do."
The levy will remain in effect for five years, after which another levy change will need to be considered.
The public bitterly debated increasing the per pupil funding after defeating similar requests in past elections.
After the school board voted in October to defund all sports and co-curricular programs, 6.5 teaching positions at the elementary school and two teachers at the high school to balance the next school year's budget, special interest groups began a grassroots effort to get out the vote, going door to door to ask voters to save their sport or activity.
Board members reassured voters that with referendum approved, those programs will be reinstated.
"I am extremely grateful," said school board member Dan Brookens. "I think it was a great campaign."