Responding to the state’s biggest school bonding request in two decades, voters in the Anoka-Hennepin district said “yes” to spending $249 million on new buildings and construction.
The funding boost aims to finance two new elementary schools.
“We’ve got a wonderfully supportive community,” said district Superintendent David Law.
In all, metro-area school districts this fall asked for more than $1 billion for construction, technology and facilities improvements.
Anoka-Hennepin, with more than 38,000 students, last asked for a bond in 1999.
Anoka-Hennepin also won a $226.20 operating levy, or $95 million over 10 years, and elected a new school board member. It warned that no matter the referendum results, the district will have to tweak elementary and middle school boundaries. Combined, its levy and bond requests would cost those with a $200,000 home $11 more per month.
Other districts, too, made $100 million-plus requests to meet growth demands. Mounds View held off for 18 years before asking voters for $164 million for more classrooms and learning spaces, which appeared headed for approval. The Roseville district won a $144 million pitch for renovations and additions, the Prior Lake district got $109 million, part of which was to be used for a new elementary school.
A board race also unfolded in St. Paul Public Schools, keeping incumbents John Brodrick and Jeannie Foster and adding Marny Xiong. The district has grappled with an enrollment drop, safety issues and budget deficits.
Brodrick, Foster and Xiong were DFL-endorsed. Brodrick is the veteran board member in the bunch. Foster is in her first year on the school board. Xiong is an administrator at Hmong International Academy, part of the Minneapolis Public Schools district.
School board races were on ballots from South Washington County schools to the Edina district. In each, more than 10 candidates ran for a handful of seats.
Edina voters ousted two incumbents for four new faces: Erica Allenburg, Matthew Fox, Ellen Jones and Owen Michaelson. Three of four incumbents in South Washington County were poised to retain their seats.