Patch Blog: Possible school levies on this fall's ballot
The school board has some tough decisions these next couple of weeks. They could conceivably have up to four different levies on the ballot this fall, although some of them could be combined:
1. A renewal of the technology levy that is due to expire soon.
2. A capital levy to allow for addition of extra classrooms at the three elementary schools besides PSI. This would help alleviate current space shortages, and well as allow for the expanding of all-day Kindergarten in fall, 2014.
3. A capital levy for other maintenance needs.
4. An increase in the referendum money for operating expenses. Because of adjustments in the formula made by the legislative this last session, St. Louis Park is now slightly under the maximum allowable cap.
The first two levies seem critical. Renewing the technology levy presumably wouldn’t cost the taxpayers extra and hopefully will not be controversial.
Expanding the elementary schools may be controversial. There will be pushback along the lines of “you just closed a school, if anything you should reopen it”. Having another school, though, increases the operating budget immensely, because you need an extra principal, secretary, nurse, custodian, etc. The capital expenses are one time, and even though it should really be “one pot of money”,in reality capital funding is easier to secure then operating funding.
The school board will be meeting on Monday, August 5th, at 5:30 to discuss this, and will need to take a vote at their regular meeting Monday, August 12th to get any levies on the ballot.