Reorganization Vote - 3 Items on the Ballot
The vote for reorganization will have three items on the September 13, 2022 reorganization vote ballot to combine the Algona CSD and Lu Verne CSD into one new district beginning on July 1, 2023. Please watch the local papers for more information on where your school election voting precincts are in each district. This is done by the local county auditors. When we receive that information, we will also post it on our website: www.algona.k12.ia.us, and we encourage you to visit our reorganization web page which is located at https://www.algona.k12.ia.us/page/algona-and-lu-verne-reorganization.
The three items that will be on the ballot come September 13 are Reorganization of the Algona CSD and the Lu Verne CSD into one new district, adoption of a Revenue Purpose Statement for our state SAVE funds or state 1% sales tax funds, and to implement a voter approved Physical Plant and Equipment Levy (PPEL). Each one of the items is a separate vote, but the revenue purpose statement and voter approved PPEL are extremely important supportive pieces for the potential new school district.
Reorganization of the Algona CSD and Lu Verne CSD-
Voters will have the opportunity to vote on whether the Algona CSD and the Lu Verne CSD should become one new school district starting on July 1, 2023. Both districts have been working towards this process for the past three years with our request from the state of Joint Employment funds, which has been three years worth of financial incentives from the state. If this vote is approved, the “new” district will then get an additional three years of financial incentives. Even though both districts are in strong financial shape, both districts are still struggling to find staff, not only teaching staff but also support staff including: aids, kitchen help, and bus drivers. Rural Iowa continues to trend down on public school students. Combined we are only nine more students than we were as separate districts 17 years ago.
Revenue Purpose Statement-
This is nothing new for the patrons of both school districts. Both districts presently have an almost identical revenue purpose statement already in place. When Iowa went statewide with the 1% sales tax for schools (SAVE), every district had to approve a revenue purpose statement. This statement tells the public how the district will use those funds in general terms. According to Iowa state law, if we become a new district on July 1, 2023 with the passage of the reorganization vote, the new district must have a new revenue purpose statement on file. Instead of holding a separate vote at a different time on this statement, we have decided to include it on the same ballot as our reorganization vote.
Voter Approved Physical Plant and Equipment Levy (PPEL)-
Presently, Algona and Lu Verne both have the board approved PPEL levy, which is capped at $0.33 per $1,000 assessed value. Algona also has a voter approved PPEL levy in place at $0.67 per $1,000 of assessed value. The Algona CSD uses these funds to purchase buses, update technology, update buildings and grounds, replace roofs, install and update HVAC, and for other school improvements and updates. In fact, you can see the funds at work if you drive by the athletic complex at the high school. That new entrance and softball field has been built with these funds or if you watch every student in 5-12 walking home from school with a chromebook, those were purchased with these PPEL dollars. Because we would become a new district, this would need to be approved in order for our new district to continue to receive these funds. These funds are crucial to the district in order to be able to continue to improve our buildings, update the playgrounds, update athletic facilities, purchase vehicles, update technology, and update other programs. For residents of the Algona CSD, this is not a new tax.
I would like to encourage everyone to come out and vote on September 13, 2022. If you have any questions, please contact Joe Carter at email@example.com or Jon Hueser at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our websites for more information and to view the reorganization FAQ document.