School board approves plans for a referendum in November
(THE MED CITY BEAT) - Rochester residents will vote this fall on whether to increase funding for the public school district.
The Rochester School Board voted unanimously on Tuesday to authorize an operating levy referendum in November. The Post-Bulletin reports the school district is facing a $12.5 million budget deficit over the next two years.
The dollar amount on the referendum has not yet been determined. However, early projections put the number in the ballpark of $5 million to $10 million.
rochmn. school board votes 7 - 0 to authorize a referendum for November. Still to be decided is an amount and whether to add capital levy.— Matt Stolle (@Mattstolle) May 6, 2015
Superintendent Michael Muñoz said that without additional funding, the district would have to make 5 percent across-the-board spending cuts — the equivalent of about 114 full-time positions.
"We're down to the bone, and I do believe that if we continue to make reductions, it's really going to be felt by our students," said Muñoz, according to a report by KTTC-TV.
The final ballot question or questions may not be determined until Aug. 21, notes the board's agenda packet.
KROC-AM reports a recent survey by the district found the majority of voters were in favor of raising property taxes. However, support dropped sharply once the impact of the proposed tax increase exceeded $125 dollars a year for a $200,000 home.
The last time the district held a referendum was in 2010. It failed, forcing the district to make $5 million in cuts.
(Cover graphic: Rochester Public Schools)