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Frequently Asked Questions

If you have additional questions, you can email (referendum@rdale.org) or call 763-504-8038. 

Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: Why is the school district asking for more funding?

Q: How is this funding request different than the funding approved by voters in November 2014?

Q: How does Robbinsdale's operating levy compare with other school districts?

Q: What has the district done to manage costs and avoid asking for an increase?


Q: What will happen if voters don't approve the requests?

Q: How have the Technology Levy funds been used that were approved by voters in 2014?

Q: What is the difference between operating levies, technology levies and bonds?

Q: I received an informational mailer from the school district on October 11 about the referendum. Why did this arrive just a month before the election, since early voting started in late September?


Why is the school district asking for more funding?
As illustrated below, state funding has not kept pace with increasing educational costs and needs, resulting in large budget cuts for our district. Our School Board unanimously approved a resolution asking voters to consider a school funding increase, providing needed revenue to maintain excellent academic and co-curricular programs, as well as retain quality staff.



How is this funding request different than the funding approved by voters in November 2014?
Our district requested a levy renewal without an increase in 2014, along with a technology levy for personalized learning. Read this fact sheet from 2014 to learn more about that request.


How does Robbinsdale's operating levy compare with other school districts?
As illustrated below, Robbinsdale Area Schools has one of the lowest voter-approved operating levies of neighboring and comparable school districts.
Voter-approved levy graph


What has the district done to manage costs and avoid asking for an increase?
Our district has maintained a balanced budget and strategically cut $16.8 million over the past two years to address federal and state funding which has not kept up with the costs of maintaining our high-quality academic and co-curriculum programming. 


What will happen if voters don't approve the requests?
If voters do not approve the request, the district would face continued budget cuts, impacting our ability to maintain our high quality academic and co-curricular programming. This could result in increased class sizes and reductions in several areas such as arts programming and extra-curricular  activities, elective class offerings, ability to attract and retain high-quality staff, and Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate programming.


How have the Technology Levy funds been used that were approved by voters in 2014?
Technology is a vital tool for students to be career and college ready. Four years ago, our community voted to provide a dedicated source of technology funding to: provide technology for schools, classrooms and students; develop technology systems, support and training; and create a solid network infrastructure.

Thanks to our community's support, we have been able to:
  • Implement and maintain 1:1 student-to-device access in grades 4-12
  • Use technology to deliver more personalized learning
  • Expand online learning
  • Provide timely, focused and integrated technology training
  • Increase mobile technology access for our staff and students
  • Increase bandwidth to provide robust access to systems, data and resources
  • Streamline administrative services and increase value-added services for our families and community
  • Integrate more information systems in support of data-driven decision-making
  • Increase engagement of all stakeholders using technology tools and resources
  • Provide additional school-based technology support

The next result is that teachers can more effectively manage student learning, students have more learning resources to support their individual learning style, and both students and teachers have access to information from anywhere at anytime. Learn more by reading our 
District Technology Plan 2016-2020.


What is the difference between operating levies, technology levies and bonds?
The simple answer is that "bonds are for building, levies are for learning." Some additional information about each:
  • Operating levies support day-to-day school and district operating expenses in support of student learning, including: retaining quality teachers and staff; classroom materials; school supplies; utilities; transportation.
  • Technology levies (formally known as "capital projects" levies) are funds used to support technology-related expenses, such as equipment, staff and infrastructure. They can also be used for certain types of safety and security upgrades.
  • Bonds provide funding for construction costs and cannot be used for school district operations. Bonds are used to renovate, maintain or build school facilities.


I received an informational mailer from the school district on October 11 about the referendum. Why did this arrive just a month before the election, since early voting started in late September?
By law, school districts are required to send a legal mailing to all property taxpayers in the school district - and it has to arrive between 15 and 30 days prior to the election. That means the earliest it could arrive in mailboxes was October 9, 2018. This mailing is required to provide the factual information about the ballot question, the tax impact and voting information. The school district also included information about the referendum in the September and October issues of the Rapid Report, which is mailed to all residents. Other sources of information about the referendum include: articles in the Sun Post, the district website, the Discover eNewsletter, and multiple presentations and listening sessions held around the district.

Referendum listening sessions were held:

  • September 22, 7:30am - 9:30am
    Caribou Coffee, Plymouth (42nd Avenue & Nathan Lane)
  • September 29, 7:30am - 9:30am
    Marna's Cafe, Robbinsdale (4150 West Broadway Avenue)
  • October 10, 6:30pm - 8:00pm
    FAIR School - Pilgrim Lane Elementary, Plymouth (3725 Pilgrim Lane)
  • October 13, 7:30am - 9:30am
    Lunds-Byerly's, Golden Valley (5725 Duluth Street)