ST. PAUL -- Smashing a record for levies approved in a calendar year, 130 Minnesota school districts convinced their residents to come up with more money for education through higher property taxes.
Nearly seven in 10 districts -- out of 188 that went to voters -- scored Election Day victories, according to a tally kept by the Minnesota School Boards Association. Successful districts will see an average of $311 more per student, an association spokeswoman said.
The past record for operating levies approved in one year was 72, when 83 districts made attempts in 1997.
"If I look at it from a statewide perspective, I would call Tuesday a success for education," said Charlie Kyte, executive director of the Minnesota Association of School Administrators. "If I look at it from a metropolitan perspective, I would say it was mixed at best and somewhat disappointing."
In general, smaller, rural districts fared the best, and those serving the Twin Cities suburbs suffered more defeats than victories.
On Wednesday, leaders of education groups avoided drawing broad conclusions from the results. The requests varied widely, they said, and each vote was driven by local factors.
This fall's levy elections were more closely watched than usual, in part because of huge changes to the property tax and school finance.
On the Net:
Minnesota School Boards Association: http://www.mnmsba.org
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