AUSTIN,Minn- It’s less than a month till Election. This Election, residents that live within the Austin Public School District will be asked to vote on an operating referendum.
Currently, Austin’s per pupil operating referendum is $42.70. Superintendent David Krenz says this is the lowest in the big 9.
“The average for the state of Minnesota for districts passing a referendum is just over $1040,” said Krenz.
The new referendum value would be $547.
"We haven't gone out and asked for extra money because we haven't needed it because t is a tax increase,” said Krenz. “Our philosophy in the Austin district, my philosophy personally is if we don't need the money we aren't going to take it out of your pocket. Now that we need it, we are coming to you and asking, and hopefully, you will support us.”
This is the first time in 17 years that residents in the school district will be voting on an operating referendum.
Lori Volz is the Executive Director of Finance and Operation. She says enrollment is one of the driving factors for the increase.
"It is so imperative so we can retain our programs and keep our class levels down,” said Volz. Otherwise, we will be facing some substantial cost reduction."