Minnesota school districts generally had good success in last week’s elections, with voters in 24 out of 35 districts approving operating levies, and 19 of 25 districts receiving voter approval on bond referendums for buildings. Greg Abbott with the Minnesota School Boards Association in Saint Peter says, “I think people stepped up and decided they were gonna help out their school districts, so that was a good sign.” Abbott says a 49-million-dollar bond referendum in Detroit Lakes was approved by a good margin, as was a 41-million-dollar request in Northfield.
Nearly all the districts where voters said “no” are in Greater Minnesota — and Abbott says that could be due to less business base to shoulder part of the property tax load, plus pressure on farms. “There was a 40-percent ag credit that did pass, and that helps, but again, when you’re going into a year where there’s tariff worries and the prices of your crops are falling and things are kind of unsettled,” he says, that’s a time when ag producers are less likely to vote “yes” on school districts’ requests.
More in this interview: