MSBA survey: Record number of districts to ask for building bond/capital project levy; smaller number ask for operating levy

MSBA survey: Record number of districts to ask for building bond/capital project levy; smaller number ask for operating levy

An MSBA survey of school districts shows a record number of school districts will ask voters for help on building bond and capital levy projects this year. With 270 of 333 districts responding (81 percent) there will be a record 59 capital project and building bond requests this year. Earlier this year, 27 districts asked for help. This November, another 32 districts will be asking for help. This compares to a previous high of 55 bond and capitol project requests last year. Otherwise, these requests have ranged from 22 to 30 in previous years during the past decade.

As for operating levy requests, 43 districts will be asking voters for more classroom funding for students. The requests are on the low end — such as the 39 requests last year, and far from the 59 requests in 2015 or the 114 requests in 2011.

With increased education funding the past few years, those operating requests have gone down. Included in the 43 requests are 13 districts simply renewing funding they currently have.

The high bond referenda continues a trend from last year for schools desperately needing space for full-day kindergarten or enrollment increases in lower grades. There are also many districts asking for capital project levies for technology.

MSBA is the leading advocate for public education by supporting, promoting and strengthening the work of public school boards. MSBA was founded in 1920 and is the eighth-oldest school board organization in the United States. 

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