New London-Spicer schools ask for an operating tax on November 2

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October 23 – NEW LONDON – Voters in the New London-Spicer School District will decide on November 2 whether the district will receive $ 1,020 per student from an operating levy over a 10-year period.

In a second question, they will decide whether the levy can be increased by the inflation rate over the 10 years.

NLS is one of the few districts in the region currently without an operating tax.

If voters approve the new levy, “it would put us in a much better financial position to grow as an organization,” Superintendent Bill Adams said this week.

The levy would bring additional revenue to the district of approximately $ 1.6 million each year.

The money could prevent a list of potential cuts that the district has developed, and it could provide other benefits.

The district may be able to reinstate some reductions made after an operating tax failed in 2020. Those reductions have resulted in an increase in class sizes and funding for the tax may bring them down, Adams said.

The levy could also help the district build up a larger fund balance.

The district used to operate with a very small general fund balance, but this has become more difficult.

State aid to schools has not kept pace with inflation, Adams said. In addition, the federal government broke its promise to help pay for special education costs.

The NLS is also unusual among districts in the region, Adams said, in that a relatively small portion of the NLS student population, around 20%, are entitled to free or reduced school meals.

School districts in the area with more low-income students are eligible for state aid and grants that NLS is not.

After the 2020 tax failed, the district passed cuts and other savings efforts totaling $ 973,000. These cuts included a salary freeze, reduced spending on staff development, abolishing Chinese language lessons, and reducing pay for school board members.

Significant savings were made when 13 teachers retired and were not replaced or replaced by new staff at lower salaries.

The district published a list of potential reductions if the levy is denied on November 2. They include 2.5 teaching positions, the head of school resources, part-time positions in the gifted and talented communications and program and the equivalent of a full-time. Title I position. Boys ‘tennis and girls’ golf could also be cut.

Certain types of properties are treated differently in an operating tax – seasonal properties do not pay tax and farmland pays on the value of a house, garage, and acre.

The state has refund or tax deferral programs for qualifying homeowners.

Vote

Advance absentee voting is already underway at the district office at 101 Fourth Ave. SW, New London, during office hours, Adams said.

Voters can register to vote at the district office. For more information or to request a postal vote request, call 320-354-2252 or email [email protected]

Early in-person voting will begin on October 26 at the district office. More information is available on the district’s website, nls.k12.mn.us, under 2021 Referendum / Election Information.

On November 2, two general polling stations will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Voting will take place in the Township of Green Lake at Prairie Meadows School, 650 County Road 10, Spicer, for the Town of Spicer and for the Townships of Dovre, Green Lake and Harrison.

The other polling station will be at New London Township Hall, 16151 County Road 9 NE, for the City of New London and for the townships of Arctander, Burbank, Colfax, Irving, Lake Andrew, New London, Norway Lake and Roseville.

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