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Former Richfield Superintendent Urges Voters to Vote 'Yes' On Proposed Referendum

Retired Richfield Public Schools Superintendent Barbara Devlin asks voters to support the measure in the following Letter to the Editor.

To the Editor:

As a Richfield resident and former Superintendent (1995 – 2008), I am writing this letter to urge your support for the Richfield School District operating levy.  This levy request is fully justified following three years of no increase in State funding, and just under $5.5 million in budget cutbacks over the past decade.

Two questions will be on the ballot: 

Question #1: Renew expiring levies to maintain existing programs.

An operating levy approved by voters in 2002 is expiring. This levy provides $301.40 per pupil in annual operating revenue that the district uses to maintain current educational programs for students. Voting “Yes” on this ballot question would simply extend an existing property tax and would not result in an increase in your tax bill. If this levy is not renewed, the district will lose over $1.5 million in revenue, resulting in larger class sizes, teacher layoffs and cuts to educational programs. 

Question #2: Increase levy authority by $60 per pupil to protect against rising costs. The additional funds are intended to protect against rising costs over time due to inflation. The tax impact on the average home would be $16 per year, or just $1.33 per month. If this levy is not approved, the district will have to reduce an additional $300,000 in expenditures.

Over the past ten years, Richfield Schools has made numerous changes that have attracted and retained students and families, including all-day / everyday kindergarten; K-5 neighborhood schools along with Dual Language and Science /Technology / Engineering and Math magnet schools; strong learner supports and enrichment opportunities; and a growing number of Advanced Placement and college preparatory classes. Failure to support the district’s levy requests would reduce opportunities for students and would likely trigger a decline in enrollment as students and families seek other education options. Approval of the two ballot questions will help maintain property values and attract families to Richfield. I urge you to vote “Yes” on both ballot questions.

Barbara Devlin

Editor's Note: All Letters to the Editor can be sent to caitlin.burgess@patch.com.

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Related articles:

  • Richfield School Board Considers Referendum Renewal
  • UPDATED: School Board Proposes Two Referendum Questions For 2012 Ballot
  • A Rundown of the Proposed Richfield Referendum
  • Richfield Referendum: A Message From Superintendent Slotterback

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