Safety, security and technology — top priorities for MPS
We all know that our world has changed. We know that our world continues to change. There are very few practices that are done the same as they were five or ten years ago. Technology is everywhere from helping our farmers navigate the fields to assisting with personal baking and the work we do and the purchases we make every day. Additionally, we know that we have had far too many reminders on the need for improved school safety and security for our students and our schools.
As a result of these two needs, on Monday August 19th, 2013 the Marshall Public Schools Board of Education approved a resolution asking our local voters to consider a new referendum levy of $150 per pupil unit to fund safety and security improvements at Marshall Public Schools and to address educational technology needs in the district to ensure students are prepared to compete in a technology driven knowledge-based economy.
The referendum levy vote will ask voters this November to consider investing in school safety and security measures for each of the district’s school buildings and to invest in educational technology for our Marshall Public School students. The safety and security measures would transform the primary entrances to each of the district’s buildings in a way that routes all visitors to the buildings to the main office of the building. Additional safety and security measures would include camera systems for our school entrances, parking areas, and hallways. Further, the referendum investments would allow the district to move forward on technology initiatives to transform learning, to focus on personalized learning experiences, and to support the implementation and integration of technology in the classrooms for all students.
If approved, the new levy would be in place for four years.
No Tax Increase
The good news for Marshall Public School district residents is that the levy approval can be accomplished with a no net tax increase on property owners. Thanks to prudent financial management and oversight by the board of education, along with sound financial conditions and management of current debt, we are able to present the vote without creating an additional tax increase on the local property tax payer. Recently, the district refinanced the debt on the existing school facilities. When the district refinanced the current bond, it resulted in a tax savings of $25 annually for an average $150,000 home. Homes of greater value would see a greater savings while homes of a lesser value would see lower savings. Additionally, the Marshall tax base continues to grow. The increased industrial and business development throughout the community means that the tax responsibility is shared over a greater number of homes and businesses, thus helping reduce the overall tax burden for all taxpayers.
The newly proposed $150 levy has a minimal tax impact. The initial impact for a home valued at $150,000 would be $46 per year but due to the property tax reform measures that were enacted during the 2013 legislative session, that impact would be reduced to only $7 per year. Homes of greater value would see a greater impact while homes of a lesser value would see lower impact. However, the net tax impact on a $150,000 Marshall home would be a net decrease of $18 due to the bond refinancing impact that begins with the taxes payable in 2014.
As the discussion about the November vote moves forward, your feedback will be important for the board and for the administration. We want and need to hear from you. Please contact the district via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via our district website at www.marshall.k12.mn.us with your questions or comments about the referendum. I would be delighted to present the information to any community group or organization or to answer any of your questions individually.
Ultimately, the levy addresses the changes and challenges that continue in our world today. The levy helps improve safety and security in our schools. Additionally, the levy will support the use and integration of educational technology in our schools and classrooms to enhance learning opportunities for all students. Please continue to watch for additional information. Also, please know that Marshall Public Schools remains committed to our mission of “developing the potential of each learner for success in a changing world.” And remember, it is a GREAT day to be a Tiger!