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Waconia Public Schools to Ask Voters for Increased School Funding

On Monday, July 9th, ISD110 School Board members voted unanimously to approve asking voters to consider an increase in school funding. The Operating Levy question will appear on the ballot in the election on November 6, 2018.  

For the past several years, general educational costs and special education costs have continued to increase, but state and federal funding to support our students’ education has not kept pace. Waconia Public Schools has been intentionally and strategically using the fund balance to make up the difference, but that approach is no longer sustainable. [learn more]

To make up for this difference, many communities have passed operating levies to help schools balance budgets. Currently, Waconia Public Schools is one of the only school districts in the area without a voter-approved operating levy; these levies provide critical funding for classrooms, instruction and other operating costs. [learn more]

Overall, Waconia Public Schools is in the bottom 1% of all Minnesota school districts for general education funding, ranking 328 out of 331. However, since the 1990s, Waconia Public Schools enrollment has tripled. 

During that same time, how teachers educate students has also changed. New technology, new research about how children learn and new methods of teaching are all changing what happens in classrooms on a daily basis.

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If voters approve the operating levy request, it would enable the district to:
  • Maintain quality education programming currently offered
  • Develop additional business partnerships that prepare students for work or college after high school through authentic learning experiences
  • Strengthen student support systems
  • Provide students with more voice and choice through personalized learning
  • Support the commitments outlined in the community-developed strategic roadmap
  • Explore new academic and activity programs 
If voters do not approve the operating levy request, the district would face budget cuts of more than $2 million which could result in:
  • Reduce teaching and administrative staff
  • Increase class sizes at some or all grade levels
  • Reduce and/or eliminate some athletics and extracurricular activities
  • Reduce support staff
  • Reduce world language offerings 
  • Reduce music and art programs 
  • Increase some student fees
Separate Funding Streams

In 2014, ISD110 residents approved a building bond referendum. This allowed for: construction of Laketown Elementary; a new high school campus;  Waconia Learning Center; additional renovation work at all our other school buildings in the district. Those funds can only be used for construction and renovations. Operating levies are a legally separate funding stream that voters can approve to support classrooms and educational programs.