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School Board begins first discussion on replacing operating levy

The Glencoe-Silver Lake School District’s current operating levy will expire in 2020, and the School Board will begin looking at whether it should seek a replacement levy.
Business Manager Michelle Sander brought the issue up at the board’s meeting Monday night, saying that discussions about the expiring levy should begin soon.
Superintendent Chris Sonju echoed that recommendation, saying the School Board should set a work session to review budget trends and begin planning for the future.
Sonju said the district went to the voters in 2001 seeking an operating levy of $597 per pupil unit to provide additional funds to support its educational programs. That proposal was passed in 2002. It was renewed again later with an inflationary factor that allowed the amount collected to increase with the inflationary rate. In 2011, when Glencoe-Silver Lake consolidated with the McLeod West School District, the operating levy was renewed again, this time without the inflationary factor, but combining the two operating levies from each district to generate a total of $727.36.
Sander said later that when GSL and McLeod West consolidated, McLeod West also had an operating levy that did not include an inflationary factor. To avoid confusion, the 2011 request for renewal did not include that factor either.
Sander said that if the board chooses to go ahead with a replacement levy — or even to ask for a higher amount — a vote could come as early as this November.
“The idea is that if it fails, you sill have another year to try to pass it before the current operating levy expires,” said Sander.
For more from the School Board meeting, see the March 14 print edition of The Chronicle.