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Voters approve most Minneapolis area school levy questions

“What the levy does is give us a bit of hope in keeping up with the ever-increasing costs of public education,” said Peter Eckhoff, president of the Robbinsdale Federation of Teachers.

From the Minneapolis Labor Review, November 16, 2018

By Steve Share, Minneapolis Labor Review editor

MINNEAPOLIS — With only a few exceptions, voters in the Minneapolis area approved most school levy questions on the November 6 ballot.

Here’s a brief look at the results of levy requests for the Minneapolis, Centennial, and Robbinsdale school districts.

Both ballot questions pass

City of Minneapolis voters passed both of the two school levy questions on the November 6 ballot by wide margins.

The first question, which passed with nearly 78 percent of the vote, would increase the operating referendum.

The second question, which would create a new technology levy, passed with nearly 72 percent of the vote.

With both questions passing, “the estimated median Minneapolis home value of $249,000 would see an increase of about $11 monthly,” according to the Yes for Mpls. Kids Campaign.

“We have to go to the voters so we can take care of our students’ academic, social, and emotional well-being in the way they deserve,” commented Michelle Wiese, president of Minneapolis Federation of Teachers.

Both ballot questions approved

The Centennial School District — serving Blaine, Centerville, Circle Pines, Lexington and Lino Lakes — had two questions on the November 6 and both questions passed.

Question one, an operating levy, would cost $27.74 per month for a $225,000 home. Question one passed with 59.47 percent of the vote.

Question two, a bonding levy, would cost $5.43 per month on a $225,000 home. Question two passed with 57.24 percent of the vote.

Question one needed to pass in order for question two to pass.

Question two will provide funding to connect the east and west buildings at Centennial High School. Right now, students need to walk outside between classes to go from building to building and need to cross an open street. “The safety issue for the kids is huge,” noted Bruce Woznak, president of the Centennial Education Association.

Ballot question passes

The Robbinsdale School District had one ballot question on the November 6 ballot, an operating levy. The levy passed with 61.52 percent of the vote.

“If voters approve the operating levy request, the estimated tax impact on the average homeowner ($223,000 value home) would be less than $12.50 per month,” according to the school district.

“We believe it’s an absolute necessity,” said Peter Eckhoff, president of the Robbinsdale Federation of Teachers. “Over the past two years alone, we’ve had $17 million in cuts,” he said. If the levy had failed, an estimated $10 million more in cuts would have been needed over the next three years.

Other school levies
Buffalo: Defeated

By a vote of 9,478 to 5,011, voters resoundingly defeated a single levy question for the Buffalo-Hanover-Montrose schools.

Columbia Heights: All three pass

Voters passed all three levy questions seeking support for the Columbia Heights Public Schools,

Dassel-Cokato: One yes, one no

Voters approved an operating levy for the Dassel-Cokato schools by a 281 vote margin but rejected a bonding levy, also by a 281 vote margin.

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