Minneapolis voters decided Tuesday to allocate more money to their school district at a time when fewer districts in Minnesota were asking taxpayers for help.
The Minnesota School Boards Association typically counts between 55 and 75 districts with funding requests. This time around, the association counted 32 districts seeking voter approval for operating levies and 10 with bond requests.
"It is a pretty significant drop off," said Greg Abbott, association spokesman.
Voters gathered for election-watch parties to await the final call for the presidential election while also monitoring their local school district referendums, which were slow to come in.
After a quiet campaign, Minneapolis voters renewed the existing property tax levy, which would provide $1,604.31 per student for Minneapolis Public Schools to address class sizes and offer increased student support. A large portion of the $74 million levy would go toward paying for 591 classroom teachers, 82 academic and behavior specialists, 81 teachers and support staff for English language learners.
Superintendent Ed Graff thanked Minneapolis residents for extending the referendum — set to expire after this school year.
"The vote tells us that our community remains committed to our students," Graff said in a statement.
Voters approved the Orono schools referendum for a new levy of $1,975 per student. The district's $27.39 million bond referendum for an indoor activities center passed in a tight contest.
Meanwhile, voters in the North St. Paul-Maplewood-Oakdale public school district backed a request to fund school safety improvements and existing academic programs along with the district's request for $630 per student in operating review.
St. Cloud Public Schools had the highest bond request, $104.5 million for a new tech high school. Late Tuesday, voters appeared to be barely voting in favor of the new tech high school facility while rejecting a $38,750,000 bonding referendum to remodel an existing high school.