According to the unofficial election results provided by the Minnesota Secretary of State website, the Orono School District levy referendum has passed.
The site noted that as of about 8:40 p.m. both precincts were reporting and that by a vote of 1,179 to 984 the referendum passed. The yes votes, according to the unofficial results, carried with 54.51 percent, while the no votes had 45.49 percent.
“This is a vote for the children of our communities,” Orono Schools Superintendent Dr. Karen Orcutt said. “Once again, we appreciate the support of our work with the students we’re privileged to serve.”
Voters were asked to revoke referenda they approved in 2004 and 2006, and to renew them both for an additional 10 years. State law limits the length of a voter-approved operating referendum to 10 years. Included with the request for continued funding was an increase of $400 per student. The additional revenue, officials said, will help the district to protect its many recent program enhancements in world language, STEM (Science, Technology Engineering, Mathematics) and guidance services, as well as to maintain reasonable class sizes.
According to information on the district’s website at www.orono.k12.mn.us, the cost of the successful referendum for the owner of a home with a $300,000 market value will result in an increase of $10.42 per month.
The question on the ballot read: The board of Independent School District No. 278 (Orono Public Schools) has proposed to revoke the school district’s existing referendum revenue authorization of $1,461.71 per pupil and to replace that authorization with a new authorization of $1,861.71. The proposed new referendum revenue authorization would increase each year by the rate of inflation and be applicable for ten years unless otherwise revoked or reduced as provided by law. Shall the school district’s existing referendum revenue authorization be revoked and the increase in the revenue proposed by the board of Independent School District No. 278 be approved? BY VOTING “YES” ON THIS BALLOT QUESTION, YOU ARE VOTING FOR A PROPERTY TAX INCREASE.