Voters turned down the 5.59-mill, 10-year levy in a vote of 1,760 to 2,427 or 42 percent to 58 percent, according to unofficial returns.
It has been 18 years since voters approved new money for the Midview Schools.
Last November, a larger 7.51-mill, 10-year emergency failed by the same 42 percent to 58 percent margin.
The same 7.51-mill larger levy also was rejected in May 2010.
The mood was somber and the group that gathered at the Unicorn Restaurant in Grafton broke up early after election results showed the levy going down.
The co-chairs of the Compass Committee, which backed the levy and does good deeds in the district such as helping parents with heating bills, said they were disappointed.
Like the school board, the committee had hoped a smaller levy might pass muster with voters, said Jill Schaefer, one of the co-chairs.
“I hope people haven’t given up on the system,” said Schaefer, the mother of a third-grader and first-grader.
“It’s a great school district,” Schaefer said. “I’m not going to give up and hope it’s the economy and the next time people will support us.”
Superintendent John Kuhn was unavailable for comment on the next step for the schools, but School Board member Gary Wilson and Scott Goggin, the district’s director of education, stayed late with levy backers.
Goggin called the levy supporters “dedicated and committed,” and said they were giving the district a boost even though the levy failed.
“They’re about more than the levy — they want to continue with community service and communication,” Goggin said.
Levy supporter Faye Stacey said the Lorain County Board of Election said there was a possibility that a special election would be held in August. Perhaps the district could consider another levy then, she said.
With no other real issues of interest on the primary ballot, Wilson said Tuesday’s election was similar to a special election.
Wilson said he thought people are still “facing a lot of uncertainty (with the economy) and don’t want to take on new expenses.
“People are seeing increased gasoline and food costs and they can’t say no to those things,” Wilson said.
Contact Cindy Leise at 329-7245 or firstname.lastname@example.org.