Rochester School Board Prepares For Possible Levy Override Vote
Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - Voters in the Rochester School District could be asked this fall to approve a new operating levy.
The School Board took a preliminary step towards a potential referendum Tuesday evening they voted unanimously to authorize Superintendent Kent Pekel to begin putting together a proposal for seeking voter approval to at least continue collecting $17 million a year in property tax revenue that was authorized by school district voters in 2015. That operating levy is scheduled to expire at the end of the 2025-2026 school year.
During Tuesday night's discussion, Pekel indicated he and other school district administrators will be looking at the possibility of asking voters for a higher level of funding support. A consultant presented the school board late last year with the results of a survey that showed 55% of Rochester School District voters would vote in favor of increasing the per-pupil levy, which currently stands at about $900 per student.
The administration also plans to analyze the resources needed to move forward with a referendum this fall, including an education effort to raise awareness of the school district's long-term financial challenges.
If the School Board is interested in holding a vote this year, a decision will have to be made by the middle of August.