• Question 1 is a request to renew the existing operating levy, with no tax increase if approved by voters.
• Question 2 is a request to approve a new technology levy. Robbinsdale Area Schools is one of the few school districts in Hennepin County that does not currently have a voter-approved capital project levy to provide funds for technology.
"We take our responsibility as stewards of the community's resources very seriously," said School Board Chair Sherry Tyrrell. "Based on our thorough review of District finances and educational program, we believe that asking our community to renew the existing operating levy and add a technology levy is the best way to most effectively and efficiently meet our students' learning needs."
Renewing the operating levy (question 1) would provide approximately $20 million per year to help maintain lower than average class sizes and fund daily school and district operations such as classroom supplies, staff salaries, building maintenance and transportation. $20 million is 13% of the total operating budget and is the equivalent of 225 teachers or the entire staffing costs of five elementary schools.
Adding a technology levy (question 2 – which is officially called the "capital project levy to fund technology") would provide a stable source of funding to increase technology access for students and staff, support personalized learning and expand technology for teaching and learning. If approved, the tax impact on the median value district home ($195,000) would be $7 per month.
At its May meeting, the School Board had authorized school district staff to move forward in planning for an election. The action taken at this August 4 meeting officially declares the election, approves the two ballot questions and accepts the Review and Comment required by the state on the technology plan.
The Minnesota Department of Education approved the District's Review and Comment for the capital project levy to fund technology. According to Minnesota Department of Education Commissioner Dr. Brenda Cassellius, "Based on the department's analysis of the school district's required documentation and other pertinent information from sources of the Minnesota Department of Education, the Commissioner of Education provides a positive review and comment." Voter approval is now required for the technology levy to take effect.