Rochester voters approve public school district's referendum request
Local voters on Tuesday narrowly voted in favor of a school referendum that will allow Rochester Public Schools to maintain current spending levels through at least the 2019-20 academic year.
The referendum passed with 50.58 percent support, according to the unofficial results. With all 20,573 ballots counted, "yes" votes outnumbered "no" votes by 239. The final numbers came in Wednesday around 1:30 a.m.
Approval of the 10-year referendum will increase the local levy amount from $309 per student to the state average of $837 per student. The owner of a $200,000 home can expect to pay an additional $183 per year in property taxes once the referendum takes effect.
The district had faced a $3.8 million budget shortfall for the 2016-17 school year and a $4.5 million deficit for the 2017-18 school year. If voters had rejected the referendum, the district would have been forced to make across-the-board cuts to staff and programming.
(Cover graphic: The Med City Beat)