Where do you live?
Districts rely on school operating levies to maintain current programming or reduce budget cuts. The cost to the local taxpayer for school levies is based on the individual property wealth of the school district. Taxpayers in low-property wealth districts can pay up to four times more for the same size school levy.
Erosion of Affordable Levies
In 1995, the cost of a voter-approved referendum dollar was nearly uniform across the state. The state accomplished this by providing equalization aid to pay a portion of the referendum. However, because that aid is not indexed to inflation, the burden has shifted back to the local taxpayer.
Compare Taxpayer Cost for Current Levies
The taxpayer cost for school operating levies varies significantly across the state. When the cost is high, low-property wealth communities cannot support higher value school levies, which results in less funding and a loss of educational opportunities for the children in these districts.
Inequities When Relying on School Levies
Inadequate basic formula operating revenue and the unfunded cost of special education services are the largest financial challenges facing school districts, forcing them to rely on operating levies to stabilize their budgets. Some districts have been able to maintain funding and are better able to provide quality educational opportunities for their students. Many other districts have experienced a significant loss in revenue and have spent years cutting programming and services for their students.
Revenue Trends in School Funding
Reliance on using local school levies masks the lack of commitment by the state. On average, school districts have more funding today than in 2003. However, much of the gain is due to increased property taxes and not state aid. Too many districts have not been able to access enough local school levy revenue to avoid budget cuts in their programming.
General Education Funding Comparison
General education funding is most of the operating budget a district receives to run their schools.
Understanding Minnesota’s Education Opportunity Gap
- Let this fun short video explain why the quality of a child’s education varies based merely on where they live in Minnesota.
- In the next legislative session, you can rally around the comprehensive SEE school levy tax relief and reform bill to eliminate the glaring inequities in educational opportunities based merely on a student’s zip code.
- Join us in advocating for the SEE school levy tax relief and reform bill during the next Legislative Session.