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State Aid Equalization

Did you know that if the Operating Referendum passes, about 40% of the funding would come from the state?

In August, the Milaca School Board unanimously approved two ballot initiatives to address the challenges facing our district. The first of these questions is an operating referendum that would increase general education revenue by $415 per pupil, subject to an annual increase at the rate of inflation.

If approved, the operating revenue increase is projected to bring in about $8 million over the next 10 years. This amount meets the equalization threshold outlined in Minnesota law. The state uses school district property market value and student enrollment to determine the equalization amount. Based on the state aid equalization formula for Milaca School District, the district would receive about $800,000 in total new revenue: approximately $490,000 from local taxpayers and $310,000 from the state.

In talking with community members, I have heard individuals say they pay state taxes and feel supporting this increase is only hurting themselves. The truth is, any district qualifying for state equalization aid will get your tax dollars as a state taxpayer, regardless of the outcome of the operating referendum. By passing an operating referendum, the state aid received is keeping your tax dollars local to support your school district, instead of other districts.

As a district, it is imperative to maximize these types of financing tools whenever possible. It is being responsible with local taxpayer dollars. School funding is complex and is often hard to understand. If you have any questions, I encourage you to email, call, or make an appointment to visit with me.

Mark your calendar for November 6, 2018! Milaca Public Schools will be asking our community to vote on this important issue and your vote - as someone with a vested and direct interest - is needed!


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