Update August 18, 2020 9:00 a.m.
The GFW School Board officially canvassed the election results at last night’s board meeting. Results: 1,406 Yes, 836 No.
Update August 14, 2020 5:30 p.m.
At this time, GFW Schools is unable to confirm vote totals reported by the counties and the state of Minnesota. We expect confirmed totals by Monday evening when the school board makes the election official.
Update August 11, 2020 11:00 p.m.
We are excited and humbled by the preliminary, unofficial results of the Gibbon Fairfax Winthrop Schools Operating Levy referendum question. The referendum appears to have passed by a solid majority. We are eternally grateful to our community for this affirmation of our needs. Students in our district will benefit from this investment for years. Thank you for your support.
We recognize that not everyone voted in this election, and not everyone voted Yes. We believe there is common ground in supporting the needs of our children among all of our residents. We look forward to engaging the community through the upcoming strategic planning process, which will inform the school district about its direction into the future.
We look forward to seeing the final unofficial results Thursday night or Friday, once the last few mail in ballots are counted.
GFW Schools is holding an Operating Levy Referendum on August 11, 2020
Despite years of financial management with a focus on providing opportunities for our students, our school district is facing a financial crisis and is currently in Statutory Operating Debt due to a variety of factors.
We can overcome our financial challenges. We have a team of people helping us to find ways to achieve financial stability and are continuing to address budget cuts and savings including an adjustment in administration that is projected to save more than $70,000 per year beginning this coming school year. The school board unanimously approved a motion to present district voters with an operating levy referendum during the state primary election on Tuesday, August 11, 2020.
If the referendum is approved, the school district would collect $1,104 per student in additional revenue through local property taxes. For an owner of a $100,000 home in the district, this would cost approximately $16.67 per month. The authorization would be effective in 2021 and applicable for ten years. Voter approval of the referendum would allow our district to address some of our financial issues while being able to continue to provide quality opportunities for our students and our community.
An operating levy affects residential, commercial and agricultural property more equally, and will provide revenue more quickly to help stabilize finances.
As we move forward, we will be providing updated information about the upcoming referendum. It’s important to note that state law requires that the district provide only factual information about the referendum. Other groups advocating against the referendum are not bound to that same standard, and we at GFW Schools take that responsibility very seriously.
Phil Klenk, Chairperson
Gibbon Fairfax Winthrop Schools
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