Mounds View School Board rallies in support of levy renewal

Joshua Nielsen
Bulletin staff

ISD 621 School Board Members have been meeting with city council members in cities within the school district’s boundaries recently to garner support from the public for a proposed tax levy renewal referendum that will appear on the ballot on Nov. 5.  

On Monday, Oct. 14 District 621 School Board Member Bob Helgeson and District 621 Superintendent Dan Hoverman met with the Arden Hills City Council to address the matter of levy renewal. In his presentation to the council, Helgeson noted that levy funding is vital to the district’s Equity Promise, which he said is a commitment to make sure all students attending Mounds View Schools are prepared for post-secondary success, regardless of race, class or disability.

Helgeson said the renewal of the levy is crucial to maintaining class sizes and current and upcoming programs throughout the district like Early College, STEAM and free all-day kindergarten, which are a part of Mounds View’s Equity Promise.  

“This money plays a significant role in maintaining class sizes at current levels while maintaining the comprehensive programs that parents and residents expect from their local schools,” Helgeson said.

Helgeson added that Mounds View is one of a few districts in the Twin Cities metro that will not be asking voters for an increase in funding. The district is seeking a continuation of the same 8-year levy approved in 2006 that provides $11.5 in annual funding to its schools. That levy expires in 2014.

If voters approve the same property tax levy on Nov. 5 it will provide the same amount of funding for another 8 years.

According to Helgeson, if the levy is not renewed an eventual end result would be an increase in class sizes and cuts to current programs. He said levy funding currently supports the equivalent of 130 teachers.

Arden Hills Mayor Dave Grant said he was especially impressed with the district’s Early College Program, unique to Mounds View, which allows high school students to earn college credits for free on their high school campuses while earning their high school diploma.

“I think that’s an outstanding program,” Grant said.

Hoverman said there are already over 500 students who have taken advantage of Early College, which is in its second year.

Voters will determine the outcome of the proposed tax levy renewal on Tuesday, Nov. 5.

Joshua Nielsen can be reached at jnielsen@lillienews.com or 651-748-7824.

 

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