West metro schools referendum roundup

  • Article by: BEN JOHNSON , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 27, 2013 - 1:46 PM

Education law inspired several districts to hold them.

A pair of provisions in the Gov. Mark Dayton-championed education law passed by the Legislature in May have inspired a crowded slate of school referendums this fall.

The mandate requiring all school districts to offer all-day kindergarten and a subsequent provision allowing districts to raise their levies to help pay for that mandate led many to take to the polls on Nov. 5.

Here’s a rundown on which west metro school districts are holding referendums, what those districts are seeking, and what the levies would pay for.

Bloomington

The district is proposing a new capital project levy that would raise $6 million per year over a period of 10 years. The levy would set aside $2 million per year for safety and security upgrades and $4 million per year for technology expenses.

If approved, it would replace a levy approved in 2007 that raised $3 million per year. According to the district, that levy is only bringing in $2.7 million per year because it was tied to property values, which have gone down. For more information, go to www.bloomington.k12.mn.us/2013-referendum.

Eastern Carver County

Two questions will be on the ballot. The first asks for a renewal of the district’s existing capital project levy, which makes up about 10 percent of the district’s annual budget at $9.1 million per year.

The second question, which is contingent upon voter approval of the first one, asks voters to approve an increase of the capital project levy. That increase would raise an additional $2.45 million per year over six years. For more information, go to www.district112.org/pages/112ISD/District_Informa tion/Referendum_2013.

Eden Prairie

Two questions will be on the Eden Prairie district’s ballot. The first asks voters to revoke the existing operating levy of $1,306 per pupil and replace it with a levy of $2,269 per pupil for the next 10 years, beginning with the 2014-15 school year. According to the district, the tax impact on the new operating levy would be about $357 more per year on a $300,000 house, which is the median value of a home in Eden Prairie.

The second question asks to renew the existing technology/capital projects levy at a 6.52845 percent tax rate for the next 10 years, beginning with the 2015-16 school year.

Hopkins

Two questions will be on the Hopkins district’s ballot. The first asks voters to revoke the existing operating levy of $1,901.20 per pupil and replace it with a levy that raises $2,319.43 per pupil. The new levy would begin in 2014 and run for 10 years.

The second proposes a new capital project levy that would raise $1.75 million per year for 10 years. These additional funds would be used for software, technology and security upgrades, as well as kitchen improvements at North Junior High and Glen Lake and Tanglen elementary schools.

Howard Lake- Waverly-Winsted

Two questions will be on this district’s ballot. The first proposes a $2.315 million school building bond to put toward the construction of a new middle school and the demolition or repair of an existing middle school.

The second question, which is contingent upon voter approval of the first one, asks for an additional $6.63 million school building bond to renovate and remodel Humphrey and Winsted elementary schools.

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