Education levy to address class size, update curriculum, raise student achievement
The previous education levy was approved by voters in 2008, generating $4.4 million in local revenue for schools. It was scheduled to expire in 2014 and renewal was impacted by new school funding legislation:
· New legislation renews about $1.9 million of this levy through a location equity allowance (LEA) put in place by the State this spring.
· The remaining $2.5 million was renewed by a public vote November 5. The LEA and levy renewal combined do not increase property taxes. Through new legislation, the Board could have approved the remaining $2.5 million levy without a public vote but opted not to use that authority.
· Renewing the levy qualifies Duluth for an additional $1.1 million in State education funds.
First Question: Voters were asked if the current education levy should be renewed.
· Passage of the First Question qualifies Duluth’s schools for $1.1 million in additional State funding. Funds support the community vision and priorities identified through the Think Kids initiative and 4- Year Continuous Improvement Plan:
Ø Help address class size “hot spots” and avoid increasing class sizes.
Ø Continue to fund current strategies to address the achievement gap.
Ø Move forward with necessary updates to curriculum.
· Passage of the First Question extends an existing levy and is not a property tax increase.
Second Question: Voters were then asked if local education funding should increase by $1.8 million.
· Passage adds additional funds to:
Ø Help reduce class size at all levels
Ø Provide additional strategies to increase student achievement and reduce the achievement gap
Ø Allow investment in innovative science curriculum
· Passage of Second Question results in a property tax increase:
$125,000 Home: $3.15/Mo
$150,000 Home: $3.78/Mo
$200,000 Home: $5.04/Mo
$250,000 Home: $6.30/Mo