Board Approved Referendum Levy Press Release
MEDIA CONTACT: Superintendent Mark Bonine
Office: 763-561-2120 x1000; Mobile 612-363-8728
Brooklyn Center Community Schools to Consider
Board-approved Referendum Levy
New state education law provides certain districts with additional levy funding to offset higher cost of living and lack of referendum funding
BROOKLYN CENTER, Minn., July 24, 2013 – As a result of a new state education law passed during the 2013 legislative session, Brooklyn Center Community Schools will have the ability to consider a referendum levy through a school board vote; no public vote is needed to pass the levy. The law was passed on May 22, 2013, to provide districts with two levy options: one that offsets the higher cost of living for urban and suburban districts within the seven-county metro area, and; the second to provide supplemental funding to districts that have been unable to pass voter-based referendums in recent years.
If approved by the school board, the referendum revenue would provide BCCS with a total of $1.775 million in additional yearly revenue for at least the next five years (2014-2018) and could go down to $1 million a year after 2018. The two levy options break out as follows:
Option 1: Location Equity Revenue
• Provides the district with an additional $1 million per year with no end date.
• If a school district does not want this additional funding, the school board must pass a resolution by September 1 to opt out of this additional revenue; otherwise the district will automatically receive the revenue.
• This levy option was enacted by lawmakers to supplement the higher cost of living for urban and suburban districts within the seven-county metro area.
• If BCCS does not opt out, the property tax impact on a median home ($113,400) would be $78 a year ($6.50/month).
Option 2: Increase in Per Pupil Funding
• Provides districts an additional $300 per pupil revenue for the next five years (2014-2018) which would bring BCCS’ per pupil levy funding up from $337 to $637 per pupil.
• The additional pupil funding would net the district an additional $775,000 per year in increased revenue for the next five years (2014-2018).
• This levy option was enacted by lawmakers to level the playing field for districts that have been unsuccessful at passing levy referendums in recent years.
• BCCS must pass a resolution to accept the increase in per pupil funding.
• If the school board approves the additional per pupil levy funding and does not opt out of the Location Equity Revenue, the total property tax impact on a median home ($113,400) would be $139 a year, averaging approximately $12 more a month and payable starting in 2014.
“This is an exciting opportunity for our students,” said newly appointed Superintendent Mark Bonine. “If the board approves the levy, we’ll be able to invest the funds in academic programs that will support student achievement. Over the past decade, the district has had to cut $10 million from its budget due to the rising cost of living and the inability to pass levy referendums, which has forced the district into statutory operating debt. This levy would give us much needed breathing room.”
The public is invited to attend a school board study session where the new law will be explained; the session is scheduled for July 29 at 6:30 p.m. at the Brooklyn Center High School, Alumni Room - Media Center, 6500 Humboldt Ave. North. The school board will then vote on the proposed levy on August 12 at the same time and location. Under the new law, districts must pass a board resolution on the location equity revenue by August 31.