Sartell-St. Stephen Putting Levy Question on November Ballot
SARTELL -- Voters in the Sartell-St. Stephen school district will be asked to go to the polls again in November. During Monday night's meeting, the school board is expected to approve putting an operating levy question on the ballot.
Superintendent Jeff Schwiebert says the additional revenue is needed because the district gets fewer dollars from the state compared to most other schools.
The amount of money we receive per student is relatively low in the state, in fact, we're in the bottom 10 percent, and in order to provide the programs that we need to provide we need additional revenue at this time, particularly with the opening of the new building.
Schwiebert says the funding formula from the state has put the district at a disadvantage.
Because we're a low free and reduced lunch district, because we don't have a lot of diversity in our student population, and because we're in a property-poor district in terms of we're a lot of residential property and not a lot of industrial property, the combination of all those things means the amount of dollars we get per student is significantly less than 90 percent of the districts across the state.
Schwiebert says there will be just one question on the ballot on November 5th asking residents to revoke the existing referendum and replace it with a new larger one.
He says the dollar amount is similar to the levy question voters rejected by a 60 percent to 40 percent margin last November. Last November's question would have raised property taxes on a $200,000 home by $165 a year, this year's question would raise them by $148.
This year's levy question would raise $1.77 million a year for 10 years.
Back in April the Sartell-St. Stephen school board voted to cut $1.3 million from this year's budget.