5 area districts have levy votes Nov. 8Published 11:12am Friday, October 28, 2011
Voters in five school districts in Otter Tail County will go to the polls on Tuesday, Nov. 8, to vote on various school levy issues. The districts include Pelican Rapids, Battle Lake, Henning, Perham-Dent and New York Mills.
These five area school districts are among 133 districts across Minnesota that are counting on residents to pass referendums. Failure to pass the referendums, emphasize school officials, will result in more budget cuts.
School boards note that the Minnesota Legislature has not provided enough state aid to keep up with school district costs. Lawmakers have delayed paying $2.1 billion in school aid the last two budget cycles.
State payment delays have forced school boards to borrow money. The state legislature did add $50 per pupil to the formula to help pay the interest on borrowed money.
Opponents of the levy referendums maintain that school boards should watch their dollars more closely. They are opposed to increased taxes at the local level.
Pelican Rapids voters are being asked to approve $600 per pupil in additional operating revenue for the school system. This will mark the fourth levy referendum in four years. The levy, if approved, would generate close to $731,000 per year for the next five years.
Battle Lake Public Schools has proposed to increase its general education revenue by $975 per pupil. The proposed referendum revenue authorization would be applicable for 10 years.
Henning is asking voters to renew for 10 years an authorization of $408 per pupil which is scheduled to expire, and renew for nine years an authorization of $612 per pupil, also scheduled to expire. This would be an aggregate amount of $1,020 per pupil, starting with taxes payable in 2012.
New York Mills has proposed to increase its general education revenue by $75 per pupil. The proposed authorization would be applicable for four years.
Perham-Dent is asking voters to increase education revenue by $695 per pupil. The authorization would be applicable for four years.