Local school districts prepare for Election Day

Election Day is now less than two weeks away. And for many school districts, that means voters will decide schools' budgets for the next decade.
Published: Oct. 26, 2022 at 5:52 PM CDT
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - Election season is upon us, and local school districts are preparing for their referendums to be voted on by their local community.

Budget levies determine how much revenue a school district will get from local property taxpayers, and it lock their budget in for the next decade.

“Without that possibility of doing it, we’d have to slim down, provide less for our students, some of the buildings may not be in the best shape because of that,” said New Ulm Public Schools Superintendent Jeff Bertrang. “So having the ability to give local taxpayers conversations with the board about ‘where are we at with finances, what should we be doing,’ and getting that support locally, we’d have a big hole.”

Districts have many options for how to present their budget plans to the community.

Some districts, like Alden Conger, want to use Election Day to revoke their current plan and replace it with a new one.

Others, such as Hutchinson and Wabasso, are giving voters the choice to either renew their current plan or increase the budget.

Still others, like New Ulm and Maple River, believe that the districts are in a good place and simply want to renew their existing plan for another decade.

“This is a renewal for us, so this operating referendum has been in place 15, 20 years in the district, said Dan Anderson, Superintendent of the Maple River School District. “So, we’ve needed it to make it, our ends meet throughout the years, and that doesn’t seem to change.”

Maple River’s referendum comes off of the recent completion of their K-12 building, and the district said that they are grateful for the community’s support over the years.

“The building’s been great,” said Anderson. “We appreciate the support of the taxpayers to put this in place for the kids in the community.”