However, state funding has not kept up with inflation, and unfunded mandates divert funds from other needed programming. Even with annual budget reductions and enrollment growth, the past two years the district has used fund balance to protect class sizes and programs. The continued use of fund balance is not sustainable and action is required. Additionally, the enrollment growth the district has relied on in recent years is projected to stabilize in 2023.
To prevent reductions that would stall progress and impact our class sizes and programs, the Westonka School Board proposes an operating levy increase.
The new levy would:
- Accelerate Progress. The levy would provide the stable funds needed for growth and continued improvement.
- Secure Long-Term Funding. The district would revoke three existing levies and combine them into a single 10-year levy. The new levy would be issued in two steps, providing long-term support and lessening the tax impact by asking for funds when we need them.
- Be Competitive. The district would have a similar levy authority to Minnetonka and Orono, the districts to which our programs are compared.
- Maintain the Lowest Tax Rate. Even with a levy increase, Westonka residents are still projected to have the lowest total school taxes in Hennepin County. The monthly tax increase on the average home ($377,000) would be $7.50 in 2020 and $6.25 in 2025.
At the July 15th School Board meeting, Superintendent Kevin Borg will again be presenting the need for the levy (7 PM at the ESC). The School Board will decide in August whether or not to put this two-tiered Operating Levy up for a vote this November.