Minnesota voters demonstrated needed support for their COVID-challenged public schools this week.

A total of 66 districts had at least one request for voters on their ballots, with 103 questions overall. About half of those were requests for operating funds, while the other were bonding requests for facilities, technology, safety or other school improvements.

About 75% of the operating fund requests passed, up from the 55% last year, according to the Minnesota School Boards Association, and 59% of districts passed at least one bonding request. During this election cycle, the majority of districts that sought voter approval support were outside the metro area.

The few requests within the metro area had mixed success. Anoka-Hennepin, the state's largest district, put three requests before voters. The first two passed as renewals of previous levies that would not increase property taxes. But the third, which would have raised $275 per student, failed.

A facilities levy failed in Fridley. In North St. Paul-Maplewood-Oakdale, an operating levy passed, but a technology request was rejected. And in Roseville and South Washington County, voters approved tax increases for operating levies.

On balance, voters across the state showed healthy support for their schools — indicating faith in the future of public education. School staffs needed that vote of confidence — and additional resources — as they return children to classrooms, work to keep them safe and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.