The Eastern Carver County School Board unanimously approved holding a Nov. 5 referendum at its June 24 meeting, according to a district press release.
The referendum will include three questions. If all three questions are approved by voters, the average homeowner ($350,000 home) would see a tax increase of $36 per month.
In one question, voters will decide if the district can increase taxes an additional $5.5 million for its operating levy. The second question includes the construction of a new elementary school; a new bus garage; and funds to cover deferred maintenance for old buildings. The third and final $4.4 million question will ask voters to renew the security and technology levy.
“Our school district is known for providing exceptional personalized learning while being fiscally prudent,” stated Board Chair Tim Klein, in the press release. “We’ve been reviewing information for the past several months to help us determine what level of community support we need to keep our schools strong, and these three questions are the result of that analysis.”
According to the district press release: “The decision to proceed with a referendum was based on months of study, input and research to manage growing enrollment and address aging buildings, budget pressures and academic needs.
“Contributing factors include state funding that has not kept pace with inflation for more than 15 years, enrollment projected to grow by 1,400 students in the next five years, maintenance needs across the district that far exceed the capital funding provided by the state and the need to maintain school security and technology systems.”
The Eastern Carver County Schools referendum website is eccs.mn/needs.
Editor's note: An update to this story eliminates a number originally reported for the total funds raised by the referendum, which did not include funds raised over the entire 10-year duration of questions 1 and 3.