Referendum
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2018 Referendum

2018 Referendum

An investment in our students and schools

A solid financial foundation is essential for making investments in our students and addressing the rising costs of public education. From cutting costs, to a full-scale review of staffing, program and services, to turning to taxpayers for additional support, MPS is working on every level, every day to create a strong, sustainable, successful school district for its community.

The 2018 MPS Strong Referendum is just one part of that work. If passed, the referendum would give Minneapolis Public Schools access to $30 million in additional revenue. The funds will be used across the district to improve student achievement and well-being through equitable investments in literacy, social emotional learning, and support services. The new revenue sources will also help avoid future budget cuts and reductions in services to students across Minneapolis.

Minneapolis Public Schools will hold a two-question, $30 million referendum on November 6, 2018, to:

1.) Increase the Current Operating Referendum Levy: The operating levy provides funding for general funds for all types of school operations – such as staff salaries and benefits, textbooks, office supplies, and services for English Language Learners. Under Minnesota Law, Minneapolis Public Schools can ask voters for up to a certain amount per student. This question proposes to increase the levy to its maximum allowable amount, meaning Minneapolis Public Schools can't ask voters for future increases. 

2.) Establish a Capital Projects (Technology) Levy: The tech levy would raise revenue for the regular maintenance and upgrades to Minneapolis Public Schools' technology systems. By shifting these existing costs to a new revenue source, MPS can make additional funds available for general operating expenses. No new technology is proposed. 

Minneapolis voters have the choice to invest an additional $30 million annually in our students

Without these investments, our schools and students will experience additional staffing, program and service reductions. We risk our ability to invest in priority areas and build a sustainable school district that reflects the shared values of our community. Annual concerns about funding will continue, making it difficult to attract and keep both new students and staff.

Keeping the commitment we've made to our students

In 2017, Minneapolis Public Schools received $60 million less than the cost of Special Education and English Language Learner services provided. We need to fund our schools with property taxes to provide the services these students deserve and need to be successful, because the state and federal governments aren't fully funding these vital services. The underfunding of Special Education and English Learner services is a statewide issue and impacts every school district in Minnesota.