Failed Levies Leave Some School Districts In Limbo

STILLWATER, Minn. (WCCO) — Big cuts are expected for school districts with failed levies. The Stillwater School District now has a budget shortfall of $10,000,000 after voters denied the proposal Tuesday night.

Even if the levy had passed, the district would still owe $5,000,000. The district balanced the budget to make up for a $5,000,000 deficit, but hoped the community would contribute the other half.

Julie Casserly, who has a 4 year old daughter in the school district, said she’s concerned about the future there.

“Part of the reason we chose to live in this area was the excellent school district,” said Casserly.

Casserly can’t help but wonder if her daughter will stay in the Stillwater School District.

“I’m really concerned about the district, the district’s future,” said Casserly.

Failure to pass three levies means the district now has to balance a $10,000,000 budget shortfall.

“It is no doubt going to reach the classroom and affect what we do on a daily basis with teachers and students,” said Stillwater Superintendent Corey Lunn.

Lunn said a committee made of community members and staff will figure out how much to cut and where in the coming weeks.

Areas that could be affected include transportation, class sizes, athletic opportunities and staff reduction.

“We are going to do our best to minimize the impact, as best we can,” said Lunn.

Some believe asking taxpayers to chip in more probably played a role in the outcome. In Stillwater, the median home price is $300,000, which would have amounted to an extra $268 a year.

“It’s a hard decision when fewer people can pay extras,” said Jesse Hanawalt, whose son attends a Stillwater preschool.

Jesse Hanawalt was willing to take on that burden.

“I was able to vote, yesterday, and voted for the levy. Sorry to see it didn’t pass,” said Hanawalt.

His 4 year old son is in the preschool program, and has no plans to change districts.

“We want to stay involved with the public schools in Stillwater,” said Hanawalt.

An investment in a school doesn’t always have to deal with money. Stillwater wasn’t the only district with a levy failure.

Delano will have to balance an $800,000 shortfall, which will likely result in larger class sizes, a school board seat reduction and teacher layoffs.

More from Rachel Slavik
  • Murph

    Don’t worry Marcus will pray it straight into your hands! Wake up and vote a DEM into your legislative seat.DEMS know how to work for the people,not suck the system dry for their own little palace of worry free living! Geez what is wrong with people!Just because they carry a party label,that does not make them your friend or mine.Money,honey,it’s all about the money!

    • Get a clue

      Money for the grubby little unions! The people have spoken. THE LEVY FAILED!

  • Tom

    Let’s pretend I was a person interviewed that voted against the levy (instead of the two interviewed who voted for it). I would have said “money will not solve any of the problems with our education system, I am glad it didn’t pass”.

  • Wendy

    Gee Tom, just what do you think is wrong with the ed system? I challenge you to visit or volunteer in any school in the district before you spew an opinion. Will you be glad when people choose another district and stores close in Stillwater due to lack of business? Will you be glad when your property value goes down and houses stand empty on your block? Money sure won’t solve all the problems but at least we can hope to graduate kids who can make an informed statement!

    @get a clue without those grubby little unions, you could be working in a sweatshop

    • Tom

      Minneapolis schools get a pretty hefty chunk of the loot. Wonder why there are so many houses sitting empty in North? Why there have been so many businesses struggling?

      Graduate kids who can make an informed statement. When the teachers and their unions inform them what to say. Just look at the results. Americas kids have never been so poorly educated and American schools have never had so much of our tax money.

    • Frank

      Wow. Wendy thinks she is a big deal. Sounds like a threat. Stop giving us money and your neighborhood will go to shambles.

    • Jon

      Wake up Wendy, most of our property values have been dropping for some time and it has more to do with your liberal friends destroying the economy with their good intentions than anything else. If you wanna know what is wrong with the public education system then I suggest you “educate” yourself and do the research. I reccomend “The Cartel” as a source. The public education system is corrupt largely due to the unions and just so you know their are laws on the books that prohibit sweat shops. What world do you live in anyway?

  • Robert


    The levies were SUCCESSFULLY opposed.
    These are a VICTORIES for the taxpayers.

    Democracy worked. How is that a failure?

  • DougT

    Save money – get union thugs out of education. Throwing money at education over the last 50 years has not done much good. Just look at the new Detroit (once called minneapolis)

    Wait I know just need to dump even more money at them! Raise their benefits and improve their pension funds!!

    And the higher you go the greater the rip off – Just ask the advanced degree, women’s/ minority/transgender basket weaving grads at the “organize” protest and why they are not protesting at the over inflated university’s that lied to them about getting a great education for a greater job in women’s/minority/transgender basket weaving the ng co-opt??


  • Jake

    Well, I know of a few things about the failed levy vote in Onamia, MN. Yes, the referendum failed, but the school district is still going to stick it to the taxpayers anyway. It seems that the HVAC system that went into the dumper was poorly maintained by a school district employee, who apparently spent most of his time stealing gas and diesel fuel from the school district instead of properly maintaining the school’s heating and air conditioning system. He got fired (probably with a FULL PENSION), but never got charged for stealing from the taxpayers and the kids. So, due to the lack of OVERSIGHT and SUPERVISION by the school district administrators, the taxPAYERS have to pay MORE for his incompentence. It’s called FRAUD, people, and it needs to be stopped NOW.

  • See BS

    Public Schools have turned into Churches for liberal activists, and taxpayers are being forced to pay taxes for their religious liberal bible banging ponzi scams. .

    • Get real

      Congratulations BS!! This has to take the prize for the most uninformed idiotic statement on WCCO board in at least a week. That is quite a feat considering all the bigotry and misstatements that are put on here daily. There are some far out wackos on both sides out there.

      • See BS

        You must be a liberal bible thumper — and you are accusing people of liberal bible thumping blasphomy.

  • Oh where oh where

    Have all my facts gone?
    Oh where, oh where can they be?
    Fox puts things in my head
    Liberals under my bed!!
    And then Rushbo comes on here at three.

    Don’t you just love these TeaBaggers? Their lack of information is so cute.

  • Oh when oh when

    Oh where oh where… You must be very proud of yourself for being such amazing poet. Oh where oh where can I learn how to be so high and mighty like you? I pray one day you wake up and realize what a tool you have been made into by your masters. Just keep hearing everything you want to hear and nothing will change and you will continue to be a sheep for the hearding.

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