An operating levy referendum planned this fall in the Rochester School District was highlighted on the Rochester Today Show Wednesday morning.

Rochester Public Schools Superintendent Michael Munoz joined Andy Brownell in the KROC-AM studio and spent most of his hour on the radio talking about the district's plan to ask voters to approve a property tax increase in November.

Despite the school funding increase approved by the Minnesota Legislature, Munoz says the Rochester School District still faces a $3.8 million shortfall in the 2016-2017 school year and similar deficits in following school years. While that deficit is about half the size of the shortfall projected before the legislative action, Munoz says the local public school system still needs additional property tax revenues to maintain current programs.

The Superintendent is recommending the School Board pursue an operating levy request that would boost the current tax by around $500 dollars per pupil. He says that would provide enough revenue to erase the school district's projected deficits through the 2020 school year (he explains his recommendation in the video at the top of the post).

The Rochester School Board will be holding further discussions on the superintendent's recommendation, and will review the information gathered through a survey being conducted this week, before making a decision in early August concerning the size of the proposed property tax increase that will be on the November ballot.



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