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Orono Public Schools.

ORONO — When voters in the Orono Public School District head to the polls, they'll be asked if they support a property tax increase that would generate an additional $1 million a year for the school district's technology initiatives.

This new technology levy would replace the current technology levy.

Currently, the district's technology levy generates $344.54 per student for technology. It was approved in 2002 and renewed in 2011 at the same level, according to Orono Public Schools Director of Communications Gary Kubat.

The current levy expires in 2021.

Proposed levy

The proposed levy would generate $708 per student for technology and would be in place for 10 years — until 2030. The estimated total cost of the technology levy for its 10-year life is $21,098,040, Kubat said.

The proposed levy would add $8 per month of property taxes on a home of median value in the district ($400,000).

The website that details the tax impact of the proposed levy is ehlers-inc.com/microsite/orono2019/.

Technology

The increased funding would be used for several things, according to Kubat:

  • Expanding teacher training for more effective use of technology in their classrooms.
  • Improving communications with parents, including the district app and the mass notification system.
  • Enhancing cybersecurity.
  • Updating the infrastructure including servers, routers and wiring.

Frances Stevenson is a reporter for the Lakeshore Weekly News, covering the communities around Lake Minnetonka.

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