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Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - Voters in the Rochester School District could be asked this fall to approve a new operating levy.

The School Board took a preliminary step towards a potential referendum Tuesday evening they voted unanimously to authorize Superintendent Kent Pekel to begin putting together a proposal for seeking voter approval to at least continue collecting $17 million a year in property tax revenue that was authorized by school district voters in 2015. That operating levy is scheduled to expire at the end of the 2025-2026 school year.


During Tuesday night's discussion, Pekel indicated he and other school district administrators will be looking at the possibility of asking voters for a higher level of funding support. A consultant presented the school board late last year with the results of a survey that showed 55% of Rochester School District voters would vote in favor of increasing the per-pupil levy, which currently stands at about $900 per student.

The administration also plans to analyze the resources needed to move forward with a referendum this fall, including an education effort to raise awareness of the school district's long-term financial challenges.

If the School Board is interested in holding a vote this year, a decision will have to be made by the middle of August.

HAVE YOU SEEN ME? 25 Kids Missing From Minnesota

As of March 16, 2023, there are 25 children missing from across Minnesota that have still not been found, according to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. If you have seen any of them, or have any information on their whereabouts, please don’t hesitate to call 911 or you can call the National Center at 1-800-843-5678 (1-800-THE-LOST).

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