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FAQs

Who can vote?

In order to vote in an election, you must be:

  • A U.S. citizen;
  • At least 18 years old on Election Day;
  • A resident of Minnesota for 20 days and a District 196 resident, and
  • Finished with all parts of any felony sentence.

You can vote while under guardianship unless a judge specifically has revoked your right to vote. You cannot vote if a court has ruled that you are legally incompetent.

For more information about elections and voting or how to vote early, visit the Minnesota Secretary of State’s website.

What's on the ballot?

The levy referendum question is to revoke the existing operating levy of $940 per pupil, which was approved by district voters in 2013, and replace it with a new 10-year levy for $1,567 per pupil, an increase of $627 per pupil. The single ballot question would raise an additional $19 million per year, plus annual inflationary increases. The net tax impact of the proposed question would be $25 per month, or $300 per year, on the average-value home in the district, which is $286,500.

Official Ballot Question

The board of Independent School District No. 196 (Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan), Minnesota has proposed to revoke all of the School District’s existing referendum revenue authority of $939.67 per pupil and replace it with a new referendum authorization of $1,566.67 per pupil (an increase of $627 per pupil), subject to an annual increase at the rate of inflation. The proposed referendum revenue authorization would be first levied in 2019 for taxes payable in 2020 and applicable for ten (10) years unless otherwise revoked or reduced as provided by law.

Shall the revocation of the existing referendum authority and the replacement with a new referendum revenue authorization proposed by the board of Independent School District No. 196 (Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan), Minnesota be approved?

sample ballot

What would the levy referendum fund?

If voters approve the operating levy referendum, the funds will prevent additional budget cuts, restore staffing cuts implemented for the 2019-20 school year, restore some staffing cuts made during the 2009-12 school years, provide increased mental health support staffing at all schools and restore after-school activity bus transportation.

What happens if the levy referendum fails?

If the levy referendum fails in November, there will be no increase in taxes, however staffing cuts for the 2019-20 school year will continue, and up to $18 million in additional cuts over the next two years, including teachers and all staffing areas, larger class sizes and less individual support, program cuts or elimination of certain academic and co-curricula programs, and reduced transportation service.

Has the district made other adjustments prior to calling for a levy?

Yes. Earlier this year, the District 196 School Board approved the $7 million in budget adjustments that will take effect in the 2019-20 school year. The cuts included:

  • Elimination of more than 30 teaching positions;
  • Reduced funding for instructional supplies, and
  • Increased fees for students to participate in co-curricular activities.

How will this impact my taxes?

There will be a tax impact of $25 a month increase, or $300 per year increase, on the average-value home in the district, which is $286,500. 

Find out your exact tax impact > 

When was the last levy referendum in District 196?

In 2013, District 196 voters approved an operating levy referendum that provided the district with an additional $375 per pupil. This followed roughly $34 million in cuts that took place over a three-year period in 2009 to 2012. None of the previous cuts were restored. Following the approval of the 2013 levy referendum, the district promised two years with no additional cuts, but went nearly five. This fall, the district is set to make $7 million in budget adjustments.

Didn't the district just complete construction projects last summer?

Yes, however this was done through a bond. Construction on many of our buildings was funded through the voter-approved 2015 bond referendum, which gave the district $180 million to fund improvements to buildings, upgrade safety and security features and provide increased access to technology as a learning tool. 

What is the difference between a levy and a bond?

Levies are for learning and bonds are for building

  • A school levy is funded through taxes imposed on local property owners in order to raise money for services. Money from a levy can only be used to improve access to technology and educational materials, building equipment and maintenance, hiring of support staff that may not be funded by the state and other non-capital projects.
     
  • A school bond is used to fund capital costs, such as building construction and/or renovations, system upgrades or vehicle purchases. The district asks for voter approval to acquire bonds from investors. Once the dollars are spent, the district pays it back over a specific period of time (such as 30 years).

Will this be used to build a new school or building?

No. Funding for a new school or building can only come in the form of bond dollars. In order to build a new school, the district would have to appeal to the community for support to seek investors to fund a bond. 

Will the levy include funding for artificial turf at the high school level?

No. At this time, levy funds will be prioritized to prevent additional budget cuts, restore some previous cuts (including staffing and after-school activity buses) and increase mental health support for all students.