Updates from Superintendent Woelber
Thanksgiving Week 2019
Greetings from the School and my best wishes to everyone for a Great Thanksgiving Day and weekend. So many of us have so much to be thankful for. Perspective is something that hits us in the back once in awhile and we just need that wake up call to get back on track to thanking God for our health, our freedom, our families and our ability to work.
I am thankful for the opportunity to serve 3 pretty neat districts that have pretty neat employees and pretty darn good kids! Westbrook, Walnut Grove, Dovray, Revere, Fulda, Dundee, Kinbrae, Lime Creek, Lake Benton and Verdi are all little towns ranging from 1,300 down to 30 that mean a lot to many of us, including me, where I have been able to make many connections over the years. All of our communities have had tragedies and loss and I’ve watched the magic of us coming together. I am saddened as many of you are for the tough year that our farmers experienced and we can only pray for a better run next year. We have so many young families that have come back to our communities to help with the farming and work another job and we just gotta find a way to keep them with us in order for them to be a part of their small towns and for their kids to have the great opportunities that they did in a small school!
TAXES! What’s up the big increases that many of us are seeing on our statements? I have been asked a couple times in the past week and I see that mine is going up 32%. My Murray County is up 42% and the School portion is up 28%. First of all, after many years of being fairly slow increases my property value went up $36,000 and I didn’t build or add anything. It seems that all properties in all districts have taken some considerable hikes in the past couple years. Secondly, with regards to the school portion, not one of my districts has changed their levy in the past couple years and yet this year is a big increase. I contacted the Dept. of Ed Finance folks and their explanation is with values of properties (house/garage) going up our districts are “wealthier” and therefore they are giving us a lower percentage of State Aid and making us levy more of what we voted upon. Also to be taken into account is the unexpected but wonderful increase in enrollment of our districts. If we are up about 10 kids at the operating levy of 1750-2500 a kid that would also cause a tax increase of $20,000 to spread amongst the homes. This is a short answer to a concern out there and I will continue to gather information to help explain MN School Funding especially as it relates to referendums. I will discuss with the boards the possibility of under levying the max and instead of looking at a 9% increase can we look at 3%. I’ll do the best that I can for all my districts and get back to you as soon as I can if you text or call 507-828-6608 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’ll say again that we live in the best Corner of the best State of the best Nation in the world and I am very thankful to be living in it with all of you. Happy Thanksgiving!