A referendum for Mankato Area Public Schools may soon be on the books

KEYC News Now at 6 Recording
Published: Jan. 9, 2023 at 6:30 PM CST
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - A referendum for Mankato Area Public Schools (MAPS) may soon be on the books; one they’ve been planning for a while.

Mankato Area Public Schools are focusing on present and future operational needs and facility needs in their latest request to voters.

“We continue to move further down that funnel of ultimately figuring out the size, the scope, and the timing of a potential referendum,” explained Paul Peterson, MAPS superintendent.

“Security for our schools and safety of our kids and the staff that are working in these schools is paramount, and so any sort of future bond referendum is going to have to include community dollars that supports that idea of a safe and welcoming entrance for all of our buildings,” said Peterson.

After a mail-in survey in the fall of 2021, the district has honed in on their biggest needed upgrade: making sure entrances to all schools in the district are welcome and secure entrances. A secondary focus for Peterson surrounds existing issues in community buildings.

“We have community spaces like the West High School pool that hasn’t had any water in it for a few years,” explained Peterson, “now, we have all of our high school swimming happening in one district pool, and for community our size, that’s just not sustainable. And so we know those investments are going to have to be made at some point as well.”

The superintendent says 2023 will hold three things for the district. The district will have to tighten its belt, and they’ll need support from state legislature to fully fund education.

“Then what this survey is really getting us towards is the third part of that, which is a potentially in the fall (late fall, early winter), looking at an operational and bond referendum for the school district community,” said Peterson.