St. Paul Residents to Vote on School Levy in November

Updated: 10/12/2012 6:39 PM KSTP.com By: Todd Wilson

In 2006, St. Paul voters approved a levy of $30 million for six years. The school district says, the money went towards pre-kindergarten programs and to reducing class sizes in math and science in high schools.

Shirley Land says, her pre-kindergarten class at Galtier Magnet is an example of money well spent.

"They learn so much throughout the year with rhyming, getting sound, writing and a lot of concepts in math," Land said.

The funding source will soon come to an end. District representative Lisa Gruenewald says the loss could be devastating.

"We will potentially have less programming available. We'll have to look at other options," Gruenewald said.

On Nov. 6, St. Paul residents will have the chance to renew the levy, but also increase it to $39 million. The money would continue existing programs and the additional $9 million would be used for new technology in the classroom.

There is organized opposition to the levy. A group called "St. Paul Votes No 30% Levy Tax Hike!" is leading the cause. We couldn't reach the organizer by email or phone. There's also Phil Krinkie of Taxpayers League of Minnesota, who says the time is not right to increase the levy.

"I'm not saying there isn't a need, but again it's prioritizing the funding and how do we best accomplish that. Lets not just go back to the tax payer, we need more money," Krinkie said.

Homeowners of median-priced homes will see a monthly property tax increase of $5.10 for a total of $61 a year.

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