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Frequently Asked Questions

We've compiled a list of common questions about the 2019 Levy Referendum and their answers. This list will be updated as more questions are received. If you have a question that's not listed here, you can submit it to referendum@isd191.org.  

GENERAL ELECTION AND FINANCE QUESTIONS


Q. What is the ballot question?

On Nov. 5, 2019, Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191 voters will go to the polls to decide whether to increase school funding. At its Aug. 19 meeting, the School Board unanimously approved holding a referendum to address budget shortfalls, simplify the district’s finances, and protect district’s program improvements. 

Voters will decide on one question which, if approved, would revoke two current voter-approved levies and replace them with one levy of $1,900 per pupil or the maximum allowed by state law (levy cap), whichever is less.

Doing this would ensure the district receives increased funding as the state increases the levy cap.  

Because the proposed levy would replace the district’s existing levies, approval would mean fewer elections would be needed in the future.

Download a Sample Ballot - Spanish - Somali

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Q. When is the election and where do I vote?

Polls will be open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Nov. 5, 2019. Your polling location is based on your residence and may be different from previous elections. 

Voters are also able to vote early or by absentee ballot starting September 20. Early voting can be done by mail or in person at the District 191 offices, 200 W. Burnsville Pkwy in Burnsville, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. Details are available at www.isd191.org/referendum

Visit www.mnvotes.org to learn more about registering to vote and to find your polling location. 

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Q. What is the tax impact to a homeowner?

On an average home valued at $250,000, the estimated tax impact is less than $7 per month. Learn more about tax impact here

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Q. What else is the District doing to manage finances?

District 191 is taking major steps to help put the district on solid footing through a comprehensive Integrated Action Plan. Along with a voter approved levy that would maxmize revenue and minimize (but not eliminate) future reductions, the district is:

  • Right-sizing district facilities to reflect our current enrollment and needs

  • Managing finances to ensure efficiency & seeking alternative revenue sources, including grants. Learn more about Finances and Budget

  • Continuing to innovate to improve academic and community experiences for all students

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Q. What happens if voters approve the levy?

If approved, this would provide about $1.7 million in new funding for District 191 schools. This funding is used only for day-to-day operating expenses, including retaining quality staff, maintaining student supports, transportation costs, utilities, classroom supplies and other operating expenses. 

The additional funding would:

  • Minimize (but not eliminate) budget cuts moving forward; the expected deficit would be reduced by $1.7 million

  • Help protect student support services, programming and experiences

  • Work in conjunction with the district’s integrated action plan to put District 191 on solid footing

The district will still need to reduce spending to “right size” and respond to lagging state aid & special education cross subsidy. 

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Q. What happens if voters do not approve the levy?

If voters do not approve the levy,

  • District 191 will face an expected $5.5 million budget shortfall 

  • Cuts would severely limit the district’s ability to provide student support services

  • Staff and programming, including those that help meet individual strengths and needs of students, would be reduced throughout the district

  • Specific budget adjustments would be determined by the Board of Education through the district’s budget process

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RELATED QUESTIONS

Q. Why is the district asking for more money when a levy just passed in 2017?

  • A voter approved levy would revoke two current voter-approved levies and replace them with one levy of $1,900 per pupil or the maximum allowed by state law (levy cap), whichever is less. This would maximize revenue and minimize (but not eliminate) future reductions

  • The district had to cut $6.5 million for 2019-20

  • There is a projected $5.5 million deficit for 2020-21

  • State funding is $600 per pupil behind inflation over 15 years, which equals $5 million per year

  • Federal, state special education funding fell $12.7 million short in 2017-18

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