Blooming Prairie voters reject school levy

By Laura Gossman

Post-Bulletin, Rochester MN

BLOOMING PRAIRIE — Residents in the Blooming Prairie school district turned down a new operating levy Tuesday. A similar questions was rejected two years ago.

The first question on the ballot, which called for a levy increase to $700 per pupil for seven years, got 1,491 no votes and 806 yes votes.

The second question asked for an additional $200 per pupil, and that also failed.


"The economy is the biggest reason it didn’t pass," Superintendent Barry Olson said.

He said the next step is to either find a way to increase revenue or make cuts, and he expects the school board to do the latter.

Last year, the board made $200,000 worth of cuts by reducing the number of paraprofessionals and by not filling positions when teachers retired, Olson said.

"Obviously, we need more help from the state," Olson said. "We can’t continue to have 0 percent and 1 percent increases in funding."

Schools across Minnesota have had to make cuts because of the lack of funding.

"Something’s got to give in the Legislature," Olson said. "Schools across the state are having a hard time passing referendums."

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