The Alliance for Strong Rochester Public Schools has completed its own analysis of this information and we have made our own conclusions.

Click on each issue below for details on our analysis and conclusions.

True, False or Misleading?
Alliance Conclusion Link to our Analysis
We have stagnant test scores. Misleading Test Scores
We’ve seen increased spending that has not been kept within the defined budget.  False  Budget
 …the school board has spent reserves from about $48.5 million down to $16.5 million during four years. What could board members have spent $33 million on during four years?  False  Reserves
…the district spent millions for the one-to-one program? False  iPads
…the district spent more than $4 million in consultant fees in 2014? False and Misleading  Consultants
…there was a 13 percent increase in costs for the superintendent's cabinet of administrators? False and Misleading  Administration
…the district purchased more than 25 new vans to bus students? False and Misleading  Vans
…the district took 39 staff out of schools and placed them under administration, leading to the hire of 39 new staff members to replace them. Misleading  Instructional Coaches
…the district bought a garbage truck. The truck was split into parts so as not to need board approval for the full expense. False  Garbage Truck
…we will never be able to achieve any type of average when compared to the higher home values of the 13 largest districts in the state, unless the district sets a levy amount twice of what Rochester residents can afford. False and Misleading  Levy Average

… Rochester will receive an increase of $351 per student from the state over two years, or $6.12 million in new funding.

False  State Funding

…ISD535 assessed a 9.89 percent levy against home values for 2015.

Misleading  School Board Levy 2015
…regardless if this levy is approved, the district could assess another 7 percent. Residents did not, nor will they, vote on that False and Misleading  School Board Levy 2016

“the district is threatening to cut CTECH classes after the voters approved funding as part of the 0.5 percent sales tax extension.

“what has been done to fully fund CTECH?”

False and Misleading  CTECH
Rochester has seen…increased enrollment, which will generate millions in new revenue  Misleading  Enrollment

State and local funding for Rochester Public Schools has not kept pace with the rising cost of educating our kids. The school district has made efforts to keep costs under control, cutting its budget by more than $28.6 million since 2001 and spending down its rainy day fund to prevent further cuts.

State funding provides 81.2% of Rochester Public Schools’ revenue. Over the last 10 years, the school district has received only half the state funding needed to keep up with inflation. Another 12.8% of funding comes from local property taxes through an operating levy.

Our current operating levy provides only $309.79 per student per year, well below the state average of $836.82 per student. Our kids deserve better.

Budget cuts would be necessary every year for the next four years and beyond -- $3.8 million in the 2016-2017 school year and $4.5 million in the 2017-2018 school year.   

Teachers and other staff would be cut -- an estimated 114 full-time staff positions in 2016-17 and a total of 223 full-time staff positions through the 2019-2020 school year.

If approved, this referendum will allow the school district to maintain current class sizes, academic programs and staffing in our schools through the 2019-2020 school year.
Taxes on a $150,000 home would increase by about $11.46 per month or about $137.51 per year.  For more information on property taxes go to Rochester Public Schools Referendum Information and Tax Calculator
As the third largest city in the state, this investment is critical if we want to keep our community strong and competitive, both today and into the future. Quality schools also help boost property values. And our largest employers need well-educated workers.
You can find your polling location here: http://pollfinder.sos.state.mn.us/
You can learn more about registering to vote here: https://mnvotes.sos.state.mn.us/VoterRegistration/VoterRegistrationStep1.aspx. You can register at your polling location the day of the election.
Absentee voting for the Rochester School District Election starts September 18th, 2015.

To vote in-person go to the Edison Building, Business Services Office at 615 7th St. SW. Monday through Friday 7:30 am - 5:00 pm, and Saturday, October 31st from 10am-3pm.

Please enter on the west end of the building, door 2