2017 Levy Referendum | Vote Nov. 7, 2017

2017 Operating Levy: Continuing to Define Excellence
  • Five Facts

    1. The local operating levy approved by voters in 2007 is expiring.

    • In 2007, voters approved an operating levy that provided needed resources to support the day-to-day operating expenses of the district.
    • The 2007 levy will expire at the end of the school year if not renewed.
    • If not renewed, the District would be faced with a loss of $13.3 million in local revenue, which is equivalent to approximately 12% of its annual revenue.

    2. If voters renew Edina’s expiring levy on November 7, schools will continue to receive levy support.

    If approved, the EPS will be able to maintain the quality of programs and services expected in Edina and prevent $13 million in cuts, allowing the district to:

    • Attract and retain high quality teachers and staff
    • Ensure students have skills they need to be prepared for college, career and life
    • Provide personalized learning opportunities for all students
    • Remain competitive nationally and internationally

    3. If the levy is not renewed, the district will face a budget shortfall of more than $13 million for the 2018-19 school year.

    • A loss of over $13 million will result in reductions in programs and services.
    • The district need to undertake a community process to identify reductions, likely resulting in:
      • Reduced course offerings
      • Fewer activities and program options
      • Increased participation and other fees
      • Fewer teachers and support staff
      • Reduced professional learning opportunities, and more.

    4. Nearly every Minnesota school district relies on a local operating levy to support daily operational expenses.

    • Edina Public Schools receives 70% of its revenue from the State. EPS receives 25% of its revenue from local funding, including an operating levy that expires at the end of the school year.
    • State funding has historically not kept pace with inflation, creating an ongoing funding gap, while expenses continue to increase.

    5. Edina Public Schools remains committed to being a good steward of the community’s investment in its public schools.

    • Stewardship - EPS has a Aaa credit rating from both Moody’s, Standard & Poors, the highest credit rating available and one of only three districts in the state to receive it.
    • Transparency - EPS has received the Excellence in Financial Reporting Award from the Minnesota Department of Education for 12 years in a row.
    • Management - EPS routinely makes difficult budget reductions and finds innovative solutions to live within its means. In the last 10 years, it has made over $8.5 million in adjustments, only 10% of which have come out of direct instruction.
    • Community Support - Annual community, family, staff and student surveys consistently show high support for Edina Public Schools.
      • 94% of residents say EPS provides a quality education
      • 91% of residents give high quality ratings to EPS teachers
      • 92% of residents agree that the community gets a good value from its investment in public schools

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  • Background

    At its Aug. 14, 2017 meeting, the Edina School Board voted unanimously to authorize a special election on Tuesday, Nov. 7 for the community to vote on a ballot question for an operating levy.

    The operating levy question seeks to renew the expiring operating levy and increase the district’s local revenue authority to provide needed operating funds for day-to-day expenses such as teachers, curriculum, transportation and utilities. The district’s current voter-approved operating levy, which generates $1,412.46 per pupil or approximately $13 million in local funding for the district, will expire at the end of the 2017-18 school year. The proposed operating levy set forth by the School Board seeks to renew and increase the district’s levy authority in a two-step process over the next 10 years.

    In the first step, for taxes payable in 2018, the district is seeking levy authority of $1857.46 per pupil, an increase of $445 per pupil over the current operating levy. In the second step, for taxes payable in 2020, the levy would increase to $2,075.07 per pupil.

    Each year the levy would be adjusted for inflation according the state inflationary index. If approved, the proposed new referendum revenue authorization would be applicable for a total of 10 years.