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Minneapolis Public Schools’ 2016 referendum
Minneapolis Public Schools’ 2016 referendum

On Nov. 8, Minneapolis voters will be asked to renew the school district’s current operating referendum authorization, which expires after the 2016-17 school year. If passed, funding from the referendum would help Minneapolis Public Schools manage class sizes and provide supportive services and activities for students. The request would authorize the referendum for nine years and be adjusted annually for inflation. Property taxes are not projected to increase if the referendum renewal passes.

When is the election?
Tuesday, November 8, 2016.

Where do I vote?
Polls will be open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., November 8, on Election Day. You can find your polling place by visiting the City of Minneapolis voting website. Early (absentee) voting begins Sept. 23 and ends Nov. 7. To request an absentee ballot application or for additional information, please contact the City of Minneapolis at 311 or 612-673-3000.

What are we voting on?
Minneapolis voters will have the option to extend or discontinue an existing property tax referendum that is scheduled to expire after the 2016-17 school year. If approved, the operating referendum funding will be used to manage class sizes and provide supportive services and activities for students.  

What is an operating referendum and what does it do?
An operating referendum is part of school funding in Minnesota. Nearly all school districts rely on referendum revenue to cover part of the cost of education. In Minneapolis, these funds would be used to manage class sizes and provide supportive services and activities for students. 

Operating referendum questions ask voters to authorize a specific amount of funding per pupil that comes from property taxes. Nearly all school districts in Minnesota receive referendum revenue. For MPS, the expiring amount is $1,604.31 per pupil. For the 2016-17 school year, the total referendum revenue, including the “Local Optional Revenue” of $424 per pupil, is approximately $74 million. This represents about 13 percent of the operating budget.

What if the referendum renewal fails?
If the referendum fails, Minneapolis Public Schools will have to make difficult decisions about how to operate the district without a substantial portion of the budget. This may change the current services and opportunities we provide students and families, including class sizes.

Where can I find more information?
If you have questions, please email answers@mpls.k12.mn.us, or call the referendum hotline at 612-668-5480.