Tuesday, Nov. 5th is Election Day!

Over the last several months, Eastern Carver County School District has shared information about the needs facing district schools and the resulting referendum.  On Nov. 5th, district residents will be asked to vote on three questions:  Question 1: An operating levy increase to support student learning. Question 2: Bond funds to address growth and building maintenance needs. Question 3: Levy renewal to support school security and technology.  Without this funding, there would be negative impacts, such as continued crowding, increased class sizes, deteriorating facilities, teacher layoffs, continued cuts to academic programs and services, cuts to technology equipment and supports, and limited updates to school security systems.  Get the facts about the referendum and the funding needed to manage growing enrollment and budget gaps at www.district112.org/vote2019.  Whatever your position, the district urges you to get out on November 5th and vote. Polls will be open from 7:00 a.m. to... Continue reading Tuesday, Nov. 5th is Election Day!

Referendum totals – why the difference?

The Nov. 5 Referendum will ask residents of E. Carver Co Schools to vote on funding to address budget gaps and growing enrollment in the district. There will be 3 questions on the Nov. 5 ballot:  Question 1 is a $550 per pupil operating referendum for $5.6 million for 10 years. Question 2 is $111.7 million 20 year bond referendum.   Question 3 is a Security and Technology Referendum at 4.947% of Net Tax Capacity which equates to $4.4 million for 10 years.    These three questions have NOT changed since the School Board made the decision to go out for the referendum in June 2019, yet there has been some confusion on the total cost of the referendum because of reporting changes by Southwest Media News.   In the June 20 edition of the Chaska Herald and Chanhassen Villager — and as it has done in many previous school referenda — the editor chose to combine the three questions and report them as a sum, totalling $121.7 million dollars. Question 1          $5.6M Question 2     ... Continue reading Referendum totals – why the difference?

It’s a fact: the district is growing

You may have heard some rumors that the district’s growth numbers are inflated. That simply isn’t the case. This year, Eastern Carver County Schools welcomed a record-breaking kindergarten class of 786 students. That’s up 15% from 2015’s kindergarten class.  Increasing numbers of elementary school students are driving our growth as a district, and stretching our existing program capacity in our elementary buildings. It’s also true that the district was concerned that the first demographic study, completed by Davis Demographics in early 2018, might be predicting growth too aggressively.  That’s why the district asked for a second one, to be sure we were making a decision based on accurate data. It’s not just the district’s data that confirms Carver County is growing quickly – a recent Star Tribune article* highlighted the county’s growth rate, and the four communities that make up our school district are all tracking impressive rates of growth.  Since Carver Elementary School... Continue reading It’s a fact: the district is growing

2019 Referendum: impact on taxes

Good schools make strong communities. Eastern Carver County Schools is a district of choice for prospective homeowners. Not only do students benefit from the quality education in our district, but taxpayers have seen property values and businesses thrive. However, the school board understands that asking the community for money should occur only when absolutely needed. On Nov. 5, residents will be asked to vote on three funding requests to address funding needs and enrollment growth in our community.  If voters approve the Nov. 5 referendum requests, the average homeowner ($350,000 home) would see a tax increase of about $36 per month:  Question 1, the operating levy, asks for an increase in per pupil spending by $550/student, and if approved, this funding would be for a 10-year duration.   Question 2, the bond, asks for $111.7M for deferred maintenance, the construction of the new school, and a new, larger bus garage. If approved, the bond would be approved for 20 years.  Question 2... Continue reading 2019 Referendum: impact on taxes

New bus garage will provide future cost savings and more reliable bus service

The current bus garage in Chaska is only half the size needed to properly house and maintain district buses and is in need of $1.5M to $2M in repairs. After months of review and research, the Facility Task Force recommended a new, expanded bus garage. The referendum request for a larger bus garage would provide the space needed to service and maintain our buses, making bus service more reliable for students – while also reducing costs related to leaving buses outside rather than in a garage. Beginning in the fall of 2021, bus services will be brought in-house and will be managed by the district. In doing so, the district will be able to save money (nearly $6 million over the next 10 years), provide better service to families, and take better care of our own assets.  At its August meeting, the School Board approved entering into a purchase agreement to purchase an existing building in Chaska for a new bus garage (4201 Norex Drive in Chaska); the agreement is contingent on passage of... Continue reading New bus garage will provide future cost savings and more reliable bus service

Reality Check: Equity Funding

Rumor: At a recent school board meeting, I heard the district is spending $300/pupil on its equity program. Reality: A statement made by the district finance director during the levy certification report to the school board on September 23rd was not in reference to the district’s equity program, but rather an explanation of a change at the state level in how funding is allocated.  In 2013, the Minnesota Legislature added an additional component to the general education program called location equity. This change was to level the playing field between metro and regional center districts who had referendums and those who did not.  Those school districts who didn’t could access up to $424 per adjusted pupil unit in board-approved revenue.  In Fiscal Year 2016, the legislature expanded this authority to all districts re titled it local optional revenue (LOR). The local optional revenue allowance of $424 per pupil unit is subtracted from any existing school district operating referendum... Continue reading Reality Check: Equity Funding