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YME, BBE and KMS approve school operating levies

WILLMAR -- Voters appear to have approved operating levies in the Yellow Medicine East, Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa and Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg school districts.

According to unofficial results from the Secretary of State's website, voters in YME approved the levy by a 1,554 to 1,092 margin with 100 percent of precincts reporting. The vote will add a new $401.19 levy to an existing $1,014.85 levy.

In BBE, voters approved, by a vote of 717 to 599, revoking an existing levy and replace it with the same amount, $837.76, for another 10 years. The results included 18 of 21 precincts.

In Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg, voters approved, by a 606 to 503 margin, a new $200 operating levy, to be added to an existing levy of $600 per pupil.

According The Associated Press, superintendents are smiling in about half the 76 Minnesota school districts that asked voters on Tuesday for permission to raise their property taxes.

The Minnesota School Boards Association reports 41 districts got at least part of their levy requests, while 35 districts failed completely.

Several districts framed it so voters could chose to raise their taxes by a certain amount then answer another question to raise them even more.

The 54 percent passage rate was down from the 72 percent rate last year. The 76 districts seeking levies was the highest since 2007, when 101 districts requested levy referenda.

Districts throughout Minnesota are concerned that the projected $6 billion state budget deficit could mean flat or reduced education funding in the future.