Schools referendum event Saturday

Free lawn signs available 9 a.m.–11 a.m.

THE WEDGE — Supporters of the Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) referendum campaign can pick up a free lawn sign 9 a.m.–11 a.m. Saturday at campaign headquarters, 2937 Dupont Ave. S.

The Strong Schools Strong City campaign is pushing for approval of a ballot question in November that would provide MPS $60 million per year beginning in the 2009–2010 school year and running through the 2016–2017 school year. The current public schools levy is $29 million annually and was approved in 2000.

District officials said about half of the $60 million levy would go toward managing class sizes. The rest would provide additional funding for reading, math and science instruction and also go toward the purchase of new textbooks and technology.

The new levy would raise property taxes about $17 a month on a home valued at $256,000.

Some parents have questioned the district’s funding priorities, noting that the current levy was dedicated entirely to lowering class sizes but had not relieved the pressure on many classrooms. District officials promised to establish an oversight committee that will monitor levy spending and report back to the public.

For more information on the referendum, visit the campaign website at www.strongschoolsstrongcity.org.