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Voters OK money to build a school in Tyler, but not Worthington

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Students are squeezed into a regular classroom for band class.
Students are squeezed into a regular classroom for band class at Worthington Middle School on Jan. 7, 2019, in Worthington, Minn.
Alex Baumhardt | APM Reports

Attempts to build new schools in two southwestern Minnesota districts had mixed results Tuesday.

In Worthington, the bond vote to build a new intermediate school failed by just 17 votes. In nearby Tyler, voters approved a measure to build a new K-12 school by 410 votes.

Both districts contended with opposition from Paul Dorr, a consultant who's helped kill school funding measures across the Midwest.

"Paul Dorr tried to rip us apart. Now it's time to mend the fences and pull together," said David Marlette, the superintendent of the Russell-Tyler-Ruthton schools.

Dorr has been involved in the defeat of the three prior Worthington bond votes, which took place in November 2016, February 2018 and August 2018. After one of last year's votes, people boycotted businesses that supported the school's campaign.

Dorr wouldn't talk to MPR News for a story that ran Monday, before the vote. He has said his ultimate goal is the end of public education.