Voters across Minnesota overwhelmingly supported their local school districts through levies and referendums on Tuesday, raising about $1 billion to sustain and expand their local public schools.
"The results show individual Minnesotans are willing to spend a little more to give the children in their communities a great start, with well-trained, professional educators and modern buildings," said Denise Specht, president of Education Minnesota, the statewide union of educators. "Tuesday was a good day for the children in those communities."
Specht credited the efforts of thousands of parents, administrators and educators for the election success.
"The best messengers for the good news about what's happening in public education are the people who know the names of the students," Specht said. "These supporters did outstanding work talking to their neighbors about why strong public schools benefit everyone in the community."
Although most communities supported levy requests, voters in a few communities rejected them.
"Minnesota schools rely on operating levies to pay for the basics because state funding of public education hasn't kept up with inflation for many years," Specht said. "When voters reject levies for operations or building renovations, it widens the gap between the haves and have nots. That's a bad situation for everyone."