Braham School District voters to decide on referendum on Nov. 5 ballot

During its meeting Aug. 19, the Braham School Board approved a resolution for a voter-approved property tax referendum to extend existing funding for school operations.

The referendum will appear on the special election ballot Nov. 5 and ask voters to renew the expiring referendum and authorize a $275.32 per pupil rate to sustain the District’s $475 per student operating budget.

Should the referendum pass, it would be effective for taxes payable in 2014 and would be sustained for five years before the authorization would next expire.

Superintendent Gregory Winter explained new changes in legislation have equipped the state of Minnesota to cover a larger portion of board-approved levy funding. Because equalization of funding is now administered at a higher rate, taxes on levies decrease as a result.

If the referendum is approved, the referendum will support the continuation of the same revenue stream the school district presently operates at, so students may be offered the resources necessary for education enrichment, according to the district.

In other action, the board:

• Learned the district has spent 94 percent of its School Improvement Grant. To date, the district has spent $1.23 million in improvement measures, which includes summer construction projects at the schools. The district has until Sept. 30 to expend the rest of the funds. The grant will sponsor the “Welcome Back to School” picnic Wednesday, Aug. 28. Parents and students will be able to meet with staff from 6-8 p.m.

• Reviewed reports of six resignations and 11 new hires, including support staff and teachers. Both Braham High School Principal Justin Sawyer and Braham Elementary Principal Jeff Eklund are working to finish staffing before the start of the school year Sept. 3. Monica Carson was introduced as the new Rum River Special Education Coordinator, and Heidi Duong was named as the district’s new certified athletic trainer.

• Authorized to go out for bids for use of school district-owned land during the 2014 growing season. Twenty-three acres on the west end of the high school and just more than 4 acres west of the elementary school are available for rent. Sealed bids must be submitted by Sept. 4 at 10 a.m. to Winter. Call 320-396-4444 for more information.

• Transferred legal counsel from Knutson, Flynn and Dean to Ratwik, Roszak and Maloney for the remainder of 2013.

• Renewed membership with the Minnesota School Board Association for a premium of $3,694 for the 2013-2014 school year. The membership provides benefits in areas such as election support, legal advice and seminars.