Editorial Board endorsement: Minneapolis voters should approve school levy renewal
Minneapolis residents ought to follow the advice of the Vote Yes signs that have sprouted on lots and lawns across Mill City. Voters should approve the excess levy renewal on the Nov. 8 ballot — just as they overwhelmingly approved the original levy request eight years ago.
If passed, the renewal would take effect next year and retain $74 million annually for the city’s public schools. And that amount, plus inflation, would be collected for schools every year until 2024. The original levy was passed in 2008 with just over 71 percent of the vote. The funds it generates help manage class sizes and pay for basics such as textbooks, technology, and early reading, math and science programs.
The current levy makes up about 13 percent of the district’s operating budget, and rejecting the renewal would have serious consequences. Though it’s uncertain which positions would be cut, a $74 million budget deficit would surely result in staff reductions. Some estimates say that as many as 500 teaching positions could be lost.