Voters in the Hopkins school district won’t just be picking School Board directors in this year’s election. They’ll also be asked to pay more in taxes in order to support schools.
Directors agreed at their Aug. 15 meeting to ask voters to revoke the current operating referendum levy, which expires in the 2015-16 school year, and replace it with a new ten-year levy that would bring in an additional $3.1 million in the first year. The levy, which increases revenue by $418.23 per student, would be used to maintain class size and support curriculum, according to the district.
"For me, this decision was about children and how we can best put their needs first," a release quoted Director Irma McIntosh Coleman. "This is the right thing to do for our children."
The district will also ask voters for a second capital projects levy of about $1.75 million to fund safety and security improvements, kitchen improvements and classroom technology upgrades. The levy would be in effect for ten years at a tax rate of about 1.88 percent.
If both levies pass, the owner of a $250,000 home would pay about $12 more a month in school taxes.
"We need to let the voters decide on this," a news release quoted Director Steve Adams. "These levies would result in crucial safety and security updates, and offer us the flexibility to continue to provide our students with strong academic programming."
Voters in the Hopkins school district will see the following questions on the ballot Nov. 5.
Question One: Operating Referendum Levy
The board of Independent School District No. 270 (Hopkins Public Schools) has proposed to revoke the school district's existing referendum revenue authorization of $1,901.20 per pupil and to replace that authorization with a new authorization of $2,319.43 per pupil. The school district's actual referendum revenue for any year shall not exceed the statutory maximum for that year. The proposed new referendum revenue authorization would increase each year by the rate of inflation and be applicable for ten years unless otherwise revoked or reduced as provided by law.
Question Two: Capital Projects Levy
The board of Independent School District No. 270 (Hopkins Public Schools) has proposed a capital project levy authorization in the amount of 1.882% times the net tax capacity of the school district. The proposed capital project levy authorization will raise approximately $1,750,000 for taxes payable in 2014, the first year it is to be levied, and would be authorized for ten years. The estimated total cost of the projects to be funded over that time period is approximately $17,500,000. The money raised by the capital project levy authorization will be used to provide funds for addressing building safety and security needs at all school facilities, the acquisition and construction of kitchen improvements at the North Junior High, Glen Lake Elementary and Tanglen Elementary School facilities, and the installation and maintenance of software, curriculum and technology for school instruction.