The Big Story Blog

Readers react to Minnesota school levy decisions

Posted at 3:19 PM on November 9, 2011 by Paul Tosto
Filed under: Education, Taxes

We got a good look last week at the landscape for school levy votes when we asked Minnesotans in MPR News' Public Insight Network for a sense of what they were hearing in their towns about school funding and how they planned to vote.

We got lots of great detail. So it was only natural to follow up and ask people to size up what happened the day after. What do you think most influenced the outcome in your district? How will it affect you, your family or community?

In Marshall, Paula Nemes, told us the community voted to continue the current levy but reject additional money for technology and building improvements. "Although the farm economy is doing rather well, there is still high unemployment and job insecurity is still an issue."

Click on the map icons to read more responses.

View School levy votes: What made the difference? in a full screen map


In Richfield, "The levy lost," wrote Judith Mattison. "I think it's about people not understanding the crucial need for good education and its attendant costs. It was about taxes, not about education."

Richfleld had asked voters to replace the existing $301.40 per pupil l levy with a larger one valued at $717.40, estimating the tax increase on the average Richfield home valued at $185,800 would be $10 per month.

Fridley, another first ring suburb, saw voters back renewals of its school operating levy as well as a capital projects levy.

The district had warned that the end of those levies would mean a loss of about $2 million a year to the schools, about 7 percent of the district's annual budget.

"Money is extremely tight in my life but education is a value dear to me, so much so that I am willing to make sacrifices for it," Jeanne Raffesberger of Fridley told us.

"I also believe that the 'accounting' gimmicks (for lack of a better phrase) used by the legislature to delay payments, borrow from the future, etc, etc ad nauseum really hurt our schools and the community knows this."

Tell us what happened in your school district and how it it will affect you or the community. Add your voice to the map.


About Paul Tosto

Paul Tosto

Paul Tosto writes the Big Story Blog for MPR News. He joined the newsroom in 2008 after more than 20 years reporting on education, politics and the economy for news wires and newspapers across the country.