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Osseo School District 279 Levy Requests Voted Down

An operational levy and technology levy request were on the 2012 general election ballot.

Voters in the Osseo School District 279 have decided to vote down two school funding requests for the district.

The operating levy request, according to the District 279 website, was to “increase academic achievement” in the district was on the Nov. 6 ballot along as was the technology levy request was to expand classroom technology.

The operating levy request, question one on the ballot, failed by 116 votes with 50.09% of voters (33,908) voting no to the levy and 49.91% of voters (33,792) casting a yes vote, according to the unofficial results on the Minnesota Secretary of State website.

The technology levy request, question two on the ballot, failed by 2,287 votes with 51.7% of voters (34,757) casting a no vote and 48.3% (32,470) yes votes, according to the unofficial results on the Minnesota Secretary of State website.

If the operating levy had approved, it would have generated about $9 million per year for five years for the Osseo School District.

“We recognize that it's difficult for anyone to consider new taxes in the current economic climate, and we sincerely appreciate the careful consideration voters gave these requests,” Osseo School District 279 School/Community Relations Director Barbara Olson wrote in an email to Patch. “Without additional operating income to sustain current staffing, programs and services, we’ll need to reduce expenditures by about $14 million over the next two years. Staff and School Board will start to work right away on a plan to identify reductions.”

If the technology levy had approved, it would have generated $5 million per year for ten years for technology purposes in the district.

“Without a dedicated funding stream for technology, the district's regular capital budget (which also provides for facility improvements, equipment and curriculum materials) will not be able to support the advances in classroom technology that help accelerate student achievement and prepare students for college and careers,” Olson wrote. “Our schools will need to think differently about strategic investments in technology.”

The Osseo School District is  the fifth-largest school district in the state, serving all or parts of Brooklyn Center, Brooklyn Park, Corcoran, Dayton, Maple Grove, Osseo, Plymouth, and Rogers.

Editor's note: What do you think about the failure to pass the two levies? Share your thoughts in comments.

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For additional election related articles:

Maple Grove Election Results 2012

Hennepin County Election Results 2012

DS10 November 15, 2012 at 06:49 PM
I just recently moved from Minnetonka (school area) to District 279 (where I attended school for my k 12 education). All my children went to a private school for many years (for less than 10,000.00 per year) and then when we moved them to public schools they transitioned fine to the larger class sizes. Trust me that the amount of money needs NEVER stops, the abuse of the districts spending is WAY out of control. I poured over the Minnetonka budget more than once and found HUGE places where spending could be cut. When discussed the board came up with lame excuses why they needed several of these things. When the district comes with a request for money, they need to be much more specific in what, when and where they are going to spend the money. Salaries for ALL need to be considered and included in this "need" (and not just the check, but include ALL benefits in what the total earned is) then if needed cut or freeze these expenses (if the real thing is FOR THE KIDS)
Gabriel Gubash November 15, 2012 at 07:59 PM
I understand that 85% of the district budget is union salaries... in such difficult times where we all are cutting back and making due with less, the district asking for more and more and more seems excessive to me. Wouldn't it be nice if we can vote all of our taxes like this! Government would be smaller and more responsive to our needs then! More money doesn't mean better schools, it just means that more money to the teachers unions. What the district needs is real reform - accountable teachers who share in the economic hard times we all are experiencing. It doesn't have to mean fewer teachers, but perhaps ones that are willing to make due with less like the rest of us are!
Laura November 16, 2012 at 01:00 AM
It would be so nice if teachers actually had an income that the public perceives, but the truth is, they don't. And the classroom support staff (ESPs) do not earn an livable income. Many of the ESPs have second and third jobs just to get by. As I said before, this district is very top-heavy, and the majority of any levy monies will continue to pad the pockets of those at the top, not go to the teachers, the classrooms, nor the students. Unless or until the district is willing to make cuts at the district-administrative level, and to cut salaries at the administrative level, I will continue to vote against any proposed levy, and will encourage all those around me to do the same. We all are expected to work within our budgets, and I expect nothing less from District 279. I make do without an income increase, and the district can make do without an income increase.
Jim Burgett February 05, 2013 at 07:40 PM
FYI - Since the Levy failure, we have been continuing to solicit feedback from the community regarding the resulting budget cuts. The online survey has been completed, and there are three Community Forum opportunities to provide feedback on the latest proposals. To see the proposals, go the the www.district279.org website, and click on the "Budget Reductions" link on the right side of the page. The forums are also listed there as follows: >> Wed, Feb 6, 6-7:30 p.m.: Maple Grove Senior High Forum Room >> Thu, Feb 7, 6-7:30 p.m.: Park Center Senior High Media Center >> Mon, Feb 11, 6-7:30 p.m.: Osseo Senior High Forum Room I'll be at all three forums. I hope to see you there! Thanks, Jim Burgett, School Board Treasurer, District 279 Osseo Area Schools
Keith Higgins November 06, 2013 at 07:28 PM
The reason for our no votes was spoken clearly: the economic climate. With the AHCA being anything but affordable, where are the dollars??? Vikings stadium??? Food stamps, prisons, unions, etc., etc.

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