Jul 20, 2021 | By: Destiny Wiggins

Bemidji School Board Votes to Go for Another Operating Referendum

The Bemidji School Board has voted unanimously to hold a special election this year where school district voters will vote yes or no on whether to support another operating referendum.

Bemidji Area Schools looked at three options for the referendum and then voted to pursue an operating levy that provides $2.5 million per year for the next 10 years in the district’s operations. This will provide $460 per student, a net increase of $280 from the district’s existing $180 per pupil referendum.

Voters will vote on a ballot question that states:

“The board of Independent School District No. 31 (Bemidji), Minnesota has proposed to revoke all of the School District’s existing referendum revenue authorization of $180 per pupil and replace that authorization with a new authorization of $460 per pupil. The proposed referendum revenue authorization would be first levied in 2021 for taxes payable in 2022 and applicable for ten (10) years unless otherwise revoked or reduced as provided by law.”

With a failed referendum in the 2020 election, the district is set to face a $4 million to $5 million budget deficit next year.

The special election will be held on November 2.

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