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District 191 Board approves February 2015 ballot questions to fund Vision One91

At its meeting on Nov. 13, the Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191 Board of Education decided to bring two school funding requests to voters on a special referendum election on Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015. If approved by voters, the funding would be used to implement Vision One91, the school district’s plan to redesign the district to better meet the needs of today’s learners and ensure each student is real-world ready. Vision One91 is based on over a year of staff, parent, student and community input gathered through staff meetings, PTO meetings, online forms, conversations and community forums.

"Vision One91 will make us stronger, as a district, and strengthen our students so they are on a college or career path when they graduate from Burnsville High School," said Superintendent Joe Gothard. "It is our plan for getting this district from where we are now to where we want to be."

Board members approved two ballot questions:

  • Question1 is a $65 million building bond referendum – the first since the 1990s – to fund the major construction costs associated with realigning schools to K-5, 6-8 and 9-12, paying for security upgrades, relocating programs and offices and expanding early childhood spaces.

  • Question 2 is a technology levy to provide $2.5 million per year for 10 years to provide critical technology for students, classrooms, staff and the district.

In the board presentation, Executive Director of Business Services Lisa Rider indicated that while the school district can pay for some portions of Vision One91 through existing funds, it will require community support of the two ballot questions to be fully realized. If approved by voters, the tax impact on the average homeowner ($200,000 value home) of each question is approximately $6 per month, or a total of $12 per month if both questions pass.

The four parts of Vision One91 that would be funded by the ballot questions:

  • Organize schools to best support learning and ensure each student graduates real-world ready. Shift to K-5, 6-8 and 9-12 schools to alleviate crowding at elementary schools, address the special social and emotional needs of middle school students and create a comprehensive four-year high school experience.

  • Improve security for a safer learning environment, create secure entries in schools that don't already have them and upgrade surveillance cameras.

  • Relocate programs and repurpose offices for effectiveness and efficiency. Move programs from leased spaced into district-owned buildings to save costs and better integrate programs.

  • Increase technology to enhance classroom teaching and learning, provide students with individualized learning opportunities, ensure equitable access to technology, and create districtwide infrastructure that meets the needs of today’s schools.

“We've spent the last year listening to our community and shaping Vision One91 to ensure each student leaves our schools ready for a career or college,” said Board Chair Jim Schmid. “Vision One91 is based on education standards, best practices, 21st century learning needs and the realities of our schools. We need community support to make this happen for our students.”

More information about Vision One91 and the election on Feb. 24, 2015, is available at www.isd191.org/referendum.  

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Posted: Friday, November 14, 2014 - 10:52