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Voters in Lake County showed their support for school referendums in a big way.

At 8:45 p.m. with the majority of precincts reporting, support for the Crown Point Community School Corp. referendum was overwhelming with more than 70 percent of voters supporting it.

The vote was a little tighter among Lake Central school district voters in Dyer, Schererville and St. John, where the winning percentage was just over 53 percent.

Crown Point school officials sought an extension of a school funding referendum voters initially approved in 2011.

Crown Point Community School Corp. Superintendent Teresa Eineman said last month the extension provides funding to continue support for teachers, school nurses and hundreds of extracurricular activities.

Eineman repeatedly told voters and various groups that she is not asking for any new taxes.

The vote was a renewal of the 21-cent-per $100-of-valuation referendum passed by voters of the district in 2011 and currently funds more than 70 teachers, more than 500 extracurricular activities and nurses in all 10 schools.

The Lake Central School Corp. asked voters to support a $55 million operating referendum to support salaries, benefits, programs and day-to-day operations. That amounts to 17 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. It should raise just under $7 million a year for eight years.

Lake Central schools Superintendent Larry Veracco said he and other officials were pretty confident going into the election.

Veracco, his wife Heidi, teachers and school board members gathered at Malt Brothers Craft Brewery & Eatery in St. John.

"It's close," he said at 7:30 p.m.

"We knocked on a lot of doors, and the response was relatively positive," he said.

"We've tried to keep our story concise and clear to people. Some people were confused by the construction and operating referendums. We can't use construction money for the operating budget. We were pretty confident coming in, but looking at the numbers early on, we were a little nervous."

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Southlake County Reporter

Carmen is an award-winning journalist who has worked at The Times newspaper for 20 years. Before that she also had stints at The Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Miss., The Post-Tribune and The News Dispatch in Michigan City.