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On June 9, 2011 the District #84 School Board approved the budget for 2011-2012. It reflects spending in excess of revenues of over $450,000 in the general fund, thus reducing the unreserved fund balance at the end of fiscal 2012 to about $650,000. We have cut over $850,000 from our general expenses over the last three years and have cut administration, staff, all other operating expenses and this year we trimmed all of our extra-curricular activities such sports, music, FFA and some electives. This has been really difficult and any further cuts would be to our primary programs and would greatly reduce the level of our education and put 30 – 40 children in our elementary classes. As we all know the primary reason is the reduced revenue from the federal and state government. Because of this reduced fund balance and no increases in revenue over the next few years we have had to ask our taxpayers for additional operating funds through a referendum or operating tax levy and will have to again in November.
Last year we ran a referendum which would have produced over $1,500 per student and required a taxpayer in our district to pay over $375 per year for 10 years for a home with a value of $100,000. We heard that that was too much under the current economy and also too long. While we do need that much to grow our school and provide the level of education that we would like to in the future we want to work with the community and we do understand that these are historical bad economic times. After much discussion and involvement from the community in our poll, we did approve a referendum for $750 per student that would only cost the taxpayers $160 per year on a $100,000 house and we also shortened it to 7 years. This amounts to only about $13 a month! There will be a second question that would provide $250 per student to allow us to keep up with the ever changing technology.
We do hope that we can all work together in our community to help all of the children in our district get the education they deserve and unfortunately that all requires us to help out like we have done for other things in Sleepy Eye. As you have heard or maybe have read, if we would ever have to consolidate with another school and that school has a referendum in place we would all become part of that district and have to pay the existing referendum amount in that district. Wouldn’t you rather have a public school in your own community and have more of say in these such matters?THIS POST COURTESY: Sleepy Eye Chamber of Commerce, Edward Jones, Stark Farmers Insurance, Dairy Queen, Borth Memorials, Spaeth Ford, Sleepy Eye Medical Center, Riverside Interiors, Sleepy Eye Curves, Randy’s Electric, First Security Agency, Seams to Fit & Tuxes 2, Sturm Funeral Home, Goettig and Ruddy Accounting, Miller Sellner, Cenex/River Region, Culligan, Arneson’s Distributing, Sleepy Eye Off-Sale, Sleepy Eye Chiropractic, Pisoma Kitchen, Southpoint Federal Credit Union, Lisa Ann’s Healing Hands, American Family Insurance, NAPA Auto Part, Sids Signs on Broadway - www.sleepyeyeonline.com