On November 8, 2022, Orono Public Schools residents will vote whether to renew the district’s Technology Levy. The request is a simple renewal of an existing levy, so there will be no tax increase if approved. The levy generates approximately $1.2 million annually and will expire if not renewed. The School Board unanimously approved placing this request on the ballot.
If voters approve the renewal, it would provide a predictable funding stream for:
If voters do not approve the renewal, the levy will expire and the district would need to cut $1.2 million annually from its operating budget. These cuts would impact teachers, programs and technology districtwide.
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Technology levies typically run on a ten-year cycle. This levy was originally approved by voters in 2002, and then was renewed by voters in 2011. The levy will expire if not renewed in November 2022, so voters are being asked if they will renew the levy for another ten years. In 2019 and 2020, the district asked voters if they would increase this levy, but both requests were rejected. This request simply asks for a straight renewal, with no increase— and thus no tax increase.
Because this is a straight renewal of an existing levy, there is no tax increase if voters approve the request.
The technology levy will appear as a question on the November 8, 2022 general election ballot. Because this is a general election, residents will vote at their regular polling place. To find your polling location, visit mnvotes.org. Early voting will be available beginning September 23, 2022.
There will be a single question on the ballot related to the Orono Schools tech levy renewal:
The board of Independent School District No. 278 (Orono Public Schools) has proposed to renew its expiring capital project levy authorization in the amount of 2.539% times the net tax capacity of the school district. This authorization would renew the school district’s existing authorization scheduled to expire after taxes payable in 2022.
The proposed capital project levy authorization will raise approximately $1,253,030 for taxes payable in 2023, the first year it is to be levied, and would be authorized for ten years. The estimated total cost of the projects to be funded over that time period is approximately $12,530,300.
The revenue raised by this authorization will provide continued funds for the acquisition, replacement, maintenance and support of instructional technology and software, devices, equipment, networks, security, operational infrastructure, and technology support personnel.
Shall the school district’s existing capital project levy authorization to fund technology proposed by the board of Independent School district No 278 be approved?
BY VOTING YES ON THIS BALLOT QUESTION, YOU ARE VOTING TO RENEW AN EXISTING CAPITAL PROJECTS REFERENDUM THAT IS SCHEDULED TO EXPIRE
The district will lose $1.2 million dollars in annual funding that has been used to support technology for teaching and learning. District staff and the Orono School Board would need to identify $1.2 million annually in budget cuts, which would impact teachers, programs and technology districtwide.