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Voters OK 2 levies for Delano Schools

School District 879 voters, Tuesday, Nov. 6, approved two operating levy questions for Delano Public Schools — one for $426 per pupil and one for $325 per pupil.

The $426 levy (Question One) received 4,769 “Yes” votes (73.85 percent) and 1,689 “No” votes. The $325 levy (Question Two) got 3,628 “Yes” votes (56.33 percent) and 2,813 “No” votes. Voters needed to approve Question One in order to also approve Question Two.

The Delano School Board has said that if voters approve both questions, no jobs would be cut. Failure of both referendum questions would have resulted in the loss of as many as 18 jobs and increased class sizes. The School Board also said that two failed levy questions would have resulted in activities for Delano Middle School students being shifted to Delano Community Education with parents paying the costs. Now these activities are expected to be continued at DMS.

Question One asked voters to renew the 10 year $426 per pupil operating levy that was due to expire in June, 2013. Approval of this question will result in no property tax increase. Question Two will result in a $6 per month property tax increase for each $100,000 worth of property value.

Osseo School District 279 levy questions

Voters appeared to reject both proposed levies on the ballot. One was a 5-year operating levy that would provide $9 million per year. The other was a 10-year technology levy that would provide $5 million per year. With 55 of the 56 precincts reporting, the operating levy had 33,766 “yes” votes, or 49.92 percent and 33,879 “no” votes, or 50.08 percent. The technology levy had 32,446 votes in favor, or 48.3 percent and 34,726 votes against, or 41.7 percent. If the levies fail, the district expects to cut about $14 million from the budget during the next two years.

All results are unofficial pending canvassing.

ROCKFORD AREA SCHOOLS, DISTRICT 883, QUESTION

Residents of School District 883 were posed this ballot question:

Shall the school board of Independent School District No. 883 (Rockford) be authorized to issue its general obligation school building bonds in an amount not to exceed $27,000,000 to provide funds for the acquisition and betterment of school sites and facilities, including the renovation, repair, remodeling, upgrading, equipping and construction of improvements to various school sites, parking lots, sidewalks, athletic and activity areas, mechanical, ventilation, heating and plumbing systems, electrical systems, life safety and security systems, technology infrastructure, and building roofs, windows, doors exterior envelopes and interiors?

The question passes with 2,970 “yes” votes (56%), and 2,361 “no” (44%).

Dist. 728 approves 1st question, rejects 2nd

Elk River School Dist. 728 levy vote one had 57 percent yes votes, while levy vote two had 60 percent no votes.

Supt. Mark Bezek prepared the following statement:

“Tonight, November 6, 2012, voters from throughout our district approved the renewal of an expiring levy.  Unfortunately, our second ballot question did not receive the necessary votes to be enacted.  Unofficially, our renewal question passed with 57.10 percent of the vote; our second question received 40.20 percent of the votes.

“To each and every person who voted for our mission, our future and for all of our learners, thank you.  Because of your support of the renewal, we will continue to educate, inspire and empower all of our learners, albeit in a more challenging manner.

“With the passage of our renewal, we will continue to receive $5.75 million a year for the next decade. We will continue to maintain existing curriculum, programs, services, class sizes and staffing.

“As Question 2 did not pass, we will not be able to offer, at this time, free, all-day, every-day kindergarten or will we implement a technology plan that provides for today and well into the future.  In addition, we are unable to reduce our curriculum cycle from 10 to seven years.

“We now have to address the loss of state and federal funding by reducing our budget by $5 to 7 million.  We will use to the extent possible our existing resources to minimize the impact this will have on programs, services, staff and most importantly the classroom.  Difficult decisions lie ahead, but we will do our absolute best to ensure each is in the best interest of every learner in ISD 728.

“To those of you who chose not to vote for our second question, we will work harder to earn your support and trust.  What I ask of you in return is to become involved and help us build a school district that every member of our community will be proud.

“Tomorrow, we will get back to the business of educating, empowering and inspiring our students so that they can achieve their dreams.  Again, thank you to all of you who voted to renew our expiring levy.”

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