Editorial: Levy decision will create challenges for school districtIt seems abundantly clear that most voters in Independent School District 196 cast their ballots with their pocketbooks rather than their hearts when they went to the polls on Tuesday. And, frankly, it’s hard to blame them.
It seems abundantly clear that most voters in Independent School District 196 cast their ballots with their pocketbooks rather than their hearts when they went to the polls on Tuesday. And, frankly, it’s hard to blame them.
These are difficult economic times, and the prospect of a higher tax bill, no matter the reason, no doubt left many shaking their heads. It’s a perfectly reasonable response.
Unfortunately, it’s a response that will mean some serious challenges for the school system. This, after all, is a district that made $15.3 million in budget adjustments earlier this year. It’s a district that planned to cut another $3 million even if voters saw fit to approve Tuesday’s levy. Without that levy money the district expects to cut as much as $23 million, depending on the funding choices the Minnesota Legislature makes when it convenes early next year.
Those cuts will not be superficial. The district has talked about cutting as many as 200 jobs next year. There will be cuts to programs, some of which families likely hold dear. It will become more difficult for the district to maintain the high standards it has set for itself.
There are still plenty of questions to answer. They start with the results of Tuesday’s election, and the actions the Governor and legislators elected this week take when the new session rolls around.
Whatever happens, we believe District 196 will continue to work hard to give students the best possible education. We just think the job got a little bit harder. Maybe a lot harder.
We don’t blame the people who voted against the levy because they couldn’t fathom the idea of paying more taxes. They have to look after themselves and their families first. But we believe it would have been better for the community as a whole if things had turned out differently.