At a special meeting Aug. 19, the Burnsville-Eagan-Savage District 191 School Board unanimously approved holding a fall levy referendum that, if approved by voters, would provide about $1.7 million in new funding for district schools.

The levy referendum is one part of efforts to address budget shortfalls that have led to cuts in programs and staffing, and that are projected to continue in future years, a district news release said.

The levy would provide money for day-to-day school and district operating expenses, including retaining quality staff, maintaining student supports, transportation costs, utilities, classroom supplies and other operating expenses.

The ballot question that board members approved would revoke the two currently existing voter-approved operating levies and replace them with a single levy that would authorize up to $1,900 per pupil in funding or the maximum allowed by the state, whichever is less. By replacing two levies with just one, the district would hold fewer elections in the future.

The estimated tax impact would be $6 a month, or $72 a year, for the owner of a $250,000 home.

“We need to have a comprehensive approach to help us address our budget needs so that we can deliver on our mission for students,” said Superintendent Theresa Battle. “An increase in funding is one step we can take. Evaluating our facilities is another major component, along with looking for alternative funding sources, continuing to find ways to right-size our spending, and focusing on program improvements that will help us best serve our students.”

Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 5. More information about the referendum will be available at www.isd191.org/referendum.

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