STEWARTVILLE, Minn. - Schools for Equity in Education reports the state of Minnesota hasn't kept up with inflation when it comes to funding for public education - so much so there's a gap of $1367 dollars per student.
Stewartville Public Schools Superintendent Belinda Selfors says since 1991, the average annual increase in state education funding for her district has been a mere 1.5 percent. But inflation has been 2.3 percent per year, so Stewartville had to enact an operating levy to make up the difference.
"If we were gonna depend only on state funding, we would continually be losing ground because inflationary costs are going up quicker than state funding is," Selfors said.
The latest Stewartville referendum will give the District $500,000. That gives the District enough to maintain what it is doing now - but not do anything extra.
"When you depend on a property tax levy to fund education, that's the primary issue that exists with it, plus the sheer fact of asking taxpayers asking over and over and over to do our work is difficult, it's a challenge," Selfors said.
Superintendent Selfors hopes for a Minnesota that doesn't rely so much on referendums.
"The children that are attending our schools are our future, they are the future doctors, future teachers, future engineers," Selfors said. "If we don't invest in their education, what are we going to have for our future professionals and workforce?"