The Sartell-St. Stephen School District is asking the community to support a 10-year education funding increase of $1.77 million per year.
This funding increase will support academic and activity programs. It will also maintain current class sizes and support school building operations.
Important to note: If voters approve the levy request, the state will provide almost 40% of the requested $1.77 million increase.
Voters determine educational opportunities
If voters APPROVE the funding request, the District will be able to:
- Maintain current class sizes
- Maintain and grow Pre-K-12 academic programming and mental health services
- Maintain and grow Pre-K-12 extra-curricular programming
- Support the operations of all school buildings
If voters DO NOT APPROVE the funding request, the following will be considered:
1. Possible expenditure reductions:
- Increase class sizes
- Significant changes to student transportation practices
- Cuts to academic programs
- Cuts to activities
2. Possible revenue increases:
- Increase student fees
- Change open enrollment policy
State funding is not enough
Many districts rely on operating levies to maintain services.
Schools are funded by a mix of state, federal, and local sources.
- Our District ranks 317 out of 330 Minnesota school districts for overall school funding per pupil. Source: Schools for Equity in Education
- Our District is challenged as a "property-poor" district with limited commercially-taxed properties.
A levy is for learning and a bond is for building
The District is beginning the next phase of the long-term Facilities Master Plan that the Community Schools Planning Committee presented to the School Board in the Fall of 2015. The Facilities Master Plan identified a strategic plan that included a referendum (bond) and levy.
Our strategic plan to meet the needs of the growing school district for the next 15-20 years includes:
- opening a new high school - Fall 2019
- remodeling the 1993 high school to accommodate students in Grades 6-8
- transforming the current middle school to a Grades 3-5 intermediate school
- housing the District’s youngest students in current elementary buildings
The bond that was passed in 2016 provided funding for the construction, safety/security upgrades to buildings, and physical flexible learning spaces.
Residents Spoke. We Listened.
After the failure of the 2018 levy, school board members and District leadership conducted community listening sessions.
Based on feedback from residents, the District made $1.3 million in budget adjustments (revenue increases and expense reductions), including:
- Transportation efficiencies
- Administrative reductions
- Activities fee increases
- Teaching reductions
- Support staff reductions
- Technology, Curriculum, and Non-Personnel Budget reductions