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Voters Approve SoWashCo Schools Operating Levy, No on Technology

Cottage Grove, Minn ‒ Voters have approved the South Washington County Schools (SoWashCo Schools) operating levy request for stability. The capital projects levy for technology was unsuccessful by a slim margin. View the latest results on the Minnesota Secretary of State website.

The operating levy increase will generate up to an additional $350 per student, or $6.9 million a year, in additional school funding for classrooms, instruction and other school operating costs. The funds include an annual increase at the rate of inflation for 10 years.

“We are grateful to our communities for their support and for seeing the value in a strong public school system,” said Superintendent Julie Nielsen. “This vote of support will help provide the stability needed to address the growth and building needs in our district." 

The additional funding will:

  • Limit additional budget cuts to programs and staffing
  • Offset required and unfunded costs for special education, English learner and related services
  • Move the district toward meeting the school board policy that requires 5-9% of savings
  • Allow us to focus on the facility and program needs within the district (bus garage, classroom space, overcrowding in our schools)

Though unsuccessful, the “revoke and replace” of the capital projects levy would have provided $3 million more a year in dedicated funding for instructional technology, tech support and maintenance of student devices and technology infrastructure. The current capital projects levy will remain in place at its current rate of $2 million per year through 2027.

More information on the two ballot questions is available at sowashco.org/vote2021.