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School Board: Levy support will benefit students, community

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On Tuesday, Nov. 5, voters of the South Washington County School District will be asked to help our students and your children “Step into the Future.” As members of the School Board, we support the three questions on the ballot and the areas of need that have been identified.

In early August, as a School Board we arrived at the three ballot questions after carefully considering the following:

--  The current financial state of the district;

--  The budgeting process and previous budget adjustments;

--  The objectives included in the school district’s strategic plan;

--  Input provided by the Citizens Financial Advisory Committee;

--  The results of the Decision Resources Survey; and

--  Projected enrollment from new residential developments.

The three ballot questions will allow us to sustain our current operations and provide improvements in safety and security, technology infrastructure, licensed staff-to-student ratio, and to be proactive in purchasing land for future use.

While it may seem like the school district is asking for additional dollars every year, it is important to remember that the last time we asked taxpayers to increase our operating referendum was in November of 2003. The previous ballot questions included a renewal in 2007 and three questions in 2006 that included a capital projects levy and two bond questions. Currently, our district is ranked 30th out of the 48 metro school districts based on the amount of money received through voter-approved operating referendums. South Washington County Schools receives $929.44 in operating referendum with the current metro average being $1,128.91.

The district is hosting a Community Conversation at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 28, at the District Service Center to answer your questions regarding the upcoming election. Please take the time to be informed and go to the polls on Nov. 5. For more information, please be sure to check out the district’s website at www.sowashco.k12.mn.us/Election2013.

South Washington County Schools is a great investment for our students and our community. Thank you for helping us “Step into the Future” and for your support of our school district.

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