2018 Operating Levy Referendum
Vote November 6, 2018
In November, voters will have the opportunity to choose whether or not to support additional funding for Forest Lake Area Schools. The fall election will include a levy referendum requesting an additional amount of $825 per pupil per year, for eight years. These funds will be used to support educational programming, including teaching staff and curriculum.
Note: The November 6 ballot also includes a school board election.
5 Things to Know about the Referendum
State Funding Has Not Kept Up with Inflation
In the past 25 years, school funding from the state has fallen behind the level of inflation. Today, there is a $2,500 gap in inflation-adjusted dollars between what was provided from the state in 1991 and what is provided today. Most school districts in Minnesota have recently approved new operating levies to offset the lack of funding. However, Forest Lake has not had an increase in voter-approved operating funds since 2006.
Recent Cuts Have Left the District Operating at Bare Minimum
The district's costs continue to rise with inflation, so in order to adjust for the lack of corresponding increase in funding, Forest Lake Area Schools has made program and staff cuts totaling $7.5 million in the past four years. More cuts are imminent in future years if additional operating funds are not approved.
The District Spends Taxpayer Money Efficiently
Forest Lake Area Schools provides a high quality education for our students using significantly less funds per pupil than the average Minnesota school district. The district accomplishes this through a lean approach to administrative expenses and creative ways to do more with less, finding solutions for more efficiency and using outside sources of funding whenever possible. For more information on the district's use of taxpayer funding, see the Budget Information section of this website.
The results of the referendum will have a significant impact
Fixed costs for the district, such as instructional resources, utilities, buses, salaries, repairs and maintenance, will continue to rise over time. Without a corresponding increase in funding, future program and service cuts will occur as early as next school year (2019-2020). On the other hand, if the levy is approved, new options will be available within the district and the board will have the opportunity to use additional funding to improve class sizes, programs and services. To see more information about how the levy election result will impact the school in the future, see the Levy Implications section of this website.
The levy referendum question is on the ballot for this fall's general election on November 6th. Residents can vote at their assigned polling location, or vote early via absentee ballot any time after September 21. To find details about where and when to vote, check out Minnesota's voter information website or the Voting Information section of this website.