Frequently Asked Questions

Question:  I heard that schools are fully funded now.  The legislature fixed it.  Why are you asking for an EP&O Levy?

Answer:  School funding is a work in progress.  In July, state legislators increased state property taxes with the intent of lowering school taxes, NOT eliminating school taxes. It's a step in the right direction, but it's not perfect for two reasons:

  • The funding formulas in the new law create uneven gaps in how much different districts can ask voters to approve.  This means that some districts can ask voters for more money per students than others.  This is not an equitable solution for all students and districts in the state.
  • The state money must be spent in very specific ways.  Those restrictions eliminate much of our local control for programs our community wants in schools.

Question:  You say that the new budget falls short of fully funding education.  Where does it fall short?

Answer:  There are several ways that the budget falls short:

  • Does not pay 100% of the cost to meet special education students' educational needs
  • Does not pay to honor existing local agreements made in good faith with school staff.  It still only pays for parts of our people parts of the time
  • Does not pay for the full cost to transport students safely to and from school
  • Does not pay to build new classrooms to reduce class size
  • Does not pay for technology students must use to become responsible, successful, productive citizens of tomorrow
  • Does not pay for teacher training days
  • Does not pay for the actual cost of basic basic utilities such as power, water, sewer and insurance
  • Restricts local control of local money, preventing districts' use of local money for unique, local needs

Question:  I see Breidablik Elementary listed as receiving repairs from the Capital Levy.  Are you re-opening it?

Answer:  That is a great question!  The answer is no, the passage of the capital levy does not mean that we will automatically open Breidablik Elementary.  We need to watch our enrollment carefully over the next few years.  If enrollment continues to go up, we may be in a place to address it.  The issue we currently have is that our enrollment is not high enough to fund the people needed (principal, office staff, support staff, custodial staff) and the operations needed year after year.  If we open Breidablik, it needs to be permanent.  Including the repairs needed into the capital levy ensures that we can get the building ready quickly, if enrollment rises enough.  If not, the money will be distributed to the Tier 2 and Tier 3 items on the capital levy list.

Question:  Are the two levies on the February ballot replacing taxes I currently pay, or will the be added to the taxes I currently pay?

Answer:  The taxes for EP&O levy and the Capital levy are replacing the taxes you currently pay for local schools.