Proposed tax levy for Shakopee Public Schools fails

Proposed tax levy for Shakopee Public Schools fails Photo: KSTP file photo.

Kyle Brown
Updated: November 04, 2020 09:45 AM
Created: November 04, 2020 09:32 AM

Voters on Tuesday turned down a proposed phased-in tax levy for Shakopee Public Schools that the district says would have prevented millions in budget cuts over the next two years.

According to Shakopee Public Schools, the levy request failed by 1,921 votes, a margin of 8 percentage points. Because the school district is paying off debt, the levy wouldn't have gone into effect until 2022.

The school district says it will now move to cut $5.4 million from its operating budget in 2021-22 in addition to $2 million in cuts that would have been made even if the levy had been approved.

The incoming cuts will affect faculty, staff and academic support positions and will likely lead to increased classroom sizes, the district said. The impact will also extend to fifth-grade band and middle school athletics programs.

“I’m sure the results of the voting on the operating levy are incredibly disappointing to our students and staff. I also know our community is dealing with the economic pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Shakopee Public Schools Superintendent Mike Redmond said. “In spite of the limitations on our resources, we will continue to do our best to serve our students and community.”

According to the school district's funding request, Shakopee Public Schools has not had a voter-approved operating levy in over 10 years. Without that source of revenue, the district claims it has about $1,250 less in funds per student than the average metro school district.

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