All three south metro school districts that sought more money from voters saw success Tuesday at the ballot box.
The Farmington, Lakeville and Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan districts together had a total of five questions on the ballot, and voters approved all of them.
“We went into the election with very high hopes and our hopes were even surpassed by the support that the final count showed,” said Rob Duchscher, a Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan school board member.
The district sought $180 million, which 69 percent of voters approved. The additional money will pay for a new elementary school, several building additions and technology updates and infrastructure.
Lakeville Superintendent Lisa Snyder said she felt confident her district’s operating levy — $1.2 million per year — would pass, but was less certain about the capital levy — $2 million per year. The capital levy passed with 54 percent support, the operating levy with 59 percent.
“We knew it wasn’t going to be a landslide,” Snyder said Wednesday. “[We’re] pretty happy people here today.”
The district will use the money to restore programs cut in leaner budget years. Plans include reducing class sizes, restoring elementary school art and band programs, and investing in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) equipment.
Farmington also had two questions on the ballot, a $3 million per year operating levy and a $45 million building bond. The requests come after the district cut its budget by $1 million last spring. The operating levy passed with 57 percent voter support; 58 percent of voters approved the building bond.
“We were, of course, thrilled to have the support from the community,” Superintendent Jay Haugen said.
The new funding will lower class sizes, preserve elementary school band, help maintain buildings and allow construction of more kindergarten classrooms.