October 4, 2016
Rockford High School Auditorium
October 10, 2016
Corcoran City Hall
|Basic Education Funding Needed
The Rockford Area Schools Board of Education and administration is committed to continually and carefully reviewing all K-12 programs, while taking action to keep our district fiscally sound. In the past few years, the following options have been implemented:
|Operating Levy Referendum|
Communications to our Community
School Board Message to the Community
Childhood Has No Rewind
Facts to Consider about our November 2016 Referendum
Information on Referendum Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
Bond Election Facts
Bond Refunds Save Taxpayers $
Comparison of recent Bond Elections in Neighboring Districts
Local Option Revenue Data
Local Taxpayer Cost for District's Local Levy
MDE 2016-17 Data Comparison Graph 1
MDE 2016-17 Data Comparison Graph 2
Survey Data from AMSD
Links to Additional Resources
Tax Rates Operating Levy
Tax Rates Technology Levy
Community Home Values
City of Rockford
City of Corcoran
City of Greenfield
Homeowner's Homestead Credit Refund
About the Homestead Credit Refund
Special Property Tax Refund
Senior Citizen Property Tax Deferral
|What is an operating levy?
An operating levy is a levy for learning. It helps fund day-to-day operations in our schools, which include teachers and staff, programming like STEM classes and field experiences, our agri-science and technology education programs, gifted and talented programs, piano and band in grades three through five, and a number of student activities support staff, instructional materials (classroom supplies, kits and materials for lab-based classes, etc.), utility bills, and staff development. The district is seeking a $1,142 per pupil levy starting in 2017 for nine years. This compares with the state average total referendum authority of $1,215 per pupil. For the 2017-18 school year, the first year the levy would take effect, the referendum portion will cover 11% of the total budget. The remaining portion is covered by state and federal funding that change annually.
Sample Ballot Levy Question 1
Language reviewed and verified by KF&D - Knutson, Flynn & Deans, P. A.
Why is the referendum needed?
When considering whether to bring a referendum forward, the Rockford Board of Education made certain budget assumptions, based on historical data. These include maintaining stable student enrollment and receiving an annual increase in revenue of 2% by the State of Minnesota. Unfortunately, district expenses increase at roughly 5% per year, even with no increases in programming. This economic reality leaves Rockford Area Schools with an annual 3% deficit. Revenue will increase only if approved by the state legislature. Expenses are projected to continue to out-pace funding. That is why the Board is asking voters to increase the local tax rate.
How much will it cost?
For a home valued at $200,000 in the district, there will be a $39 per month tax increase ($469 annually) for 2017 taxes.
Tax impact charts are available at the district office or review the Tax Rates tables under the Links to Additional Resources section on the left side of this page to find tax impact for your specific property.
There are no building or construction funds in this referendum. Voters will not see athletic facilities improvements, bonds and added debt on the November ballot. The levy question is a pay-as-you-go funding strategy, with no borrowing or long-term financing.
What a "YES" vote means:
· Increases the district’s annual operating revenue by an estimated $2,079,305 ($1,142 per pupil in 2017) in the first year of the nine year term.
· Provides additional funds earmarked for direct educational purposes, helping the district to maintain its focus on educational excellence (district-wide, reading scores have increased 10% in the last four years, math scores increased 7% and science scores increased 9%) and enables students now in school to reach higher levels of achievement.
What a "NO" vote means:
· Rejects a property tax increase.
· Provides direction to the School Board and administration to continue making reductions from the operating budget, each year, to ensure budget is fiscally sound. This will impact class sizes and available quality programs.
|Technology Levy Referendum|
RAS Technology Expenses and Proposed Revenue
About the Question
New Initiatives for a 3-year life cycle
Election and Voting Links
Register to Vote
Election Day Voting
What's On My Ballot
Other Ways to Vote (Absentee)
Polling Place Finder
Hennepin County Elections
Wright County Elections
Election Information for ISD 883 Precincts
City of Corcoran
City of Greenfield
City of Rockford
City of Hanover Precinct 3
City of Independence
City of Maple Grove Precinct-20
City of Medina Precinct 1B
|What is a technology levy?
A technology (capital project) levy is a dedicated fund where 100% of the funding supports technology. It also includes hardware, software, network infrastructure, broadband fiber, communication technologies, Wi-Fi, and software licenses used by students and staff, technical support, and training in the district.
Sample Ballot Levy Question 2
Language reviewed and verified by KF&D - Knutson, Flynn & Deans, P. A.Why is the referendum needed?
There is an ongoing need to provide additional tools to prepare our students to be 21st century learners. Effective use of technology has the potential to help students approach problems more creatively, think more critically, collaborate more skillfully and communicate with higher levels of precision. Technology has become an essential component in student achievement.
From the first interactive whiteboards that were installed in 2007 to the collaborative cloud platform and multitude of devices we have available for student use, a critical factor in educating children today includes leveraging the creativity, communication, and collaboration made possible by technology. Textbooks, classroom assessments and many aspects of how we deliver knowledge and skills to students are moving online, and the world of work following school demands graduates with technological competence.
The District currently does not have a technology levy in place like many other school districts. This means that funding to maintain our current network, wireless, Infinite Campus student information system, ActivBoards, technology infrastructure, and technical support comes from the general fund and reduces funds available for instructional and operational expenses.
How much will it cost?
For a home valued at $200,000 in the district, there will be a $6 per month tax increase ($72 annually) for 2017 taxes.
The technology referendum will generate approximately $395,100 annually to help pay technology expenditures for nine years. This funding will be used to:
· Maintain, update or replace current technology systems, software, hardware and infrastructure (servers, broadband, Wi-Fi, phones, websites, devices, etc.).
· Provide technical support for staff and student use of technology as well as system infrastructures.
· Maintain and improve classroom technology for students so that skilled teachers can:
° Personalize learning and give teachers the ability to adjust the content, pace and approach to learning based on individual student needs.
° Incorporate relevant and current online educational resources into their lessons.
° Facilitate state-required standardized testing (all computer-based) and assessment, which can provide immediate feedback to teachers and students regarding progress and mastery of material.
° Prepare students for college and careers after graduation.
This information is prepared and paid for by Rockford Area Schools - ISD 883, 6051 Ash Street, Rockford MN 55373. The information is not prepared on behalf of any candidate or ballot question.