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Letter: In support of the operating levy

To the editor,

I am asking that Hastings area voters support the operating levy for the Hastings Independent School District on the upcoming November ballot. On Dec. 31, 2013, an operating levy that has been in place since 2005 will expire. Since this operating levy is an integral part of the District’s funding, the school board is asking the community to “renew” the levy by voting Yes. Remember that this is a levy renewal, not “new” money.

You may have heard news reports indicating that the State of Minnesota is going to be increasing its funding for education. While it is true that the State is increasing the funding on a per pupil basis, because the enrollment in Hastings continues to decline, our District will not be receiving additional State money. Therefore, continued community support through an operating levy is vital. Our school district is very fiscally responsible and has made the necessary tough choices – optimizing busing, minimizing rental space, consolidating buildings, and prioritizing programs – to maintain an effective and efficient educational experience for our kids. The school board is committed to this level of fiscal prudence.

I am asking you to continue to support Hastings public schools and vote yes on November 5.