There are four candidates, three of whom are incumbents.
- Art Coulson (incumbent)
- Gary Huusko (incumbent)
- Mike Roseen (incumbent)
- Craig Angrimson
In this final part of the three-part series on the forum, Patch breaks out the candidates responses about the levy referendum, which will be on the Nov. 5 ballot.
The Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan School District is asking for a levy that would give the district an additional $10 million a year. Candidates answered the following question:
Do you support the proposed levy referendum? If it fails to pass in November, what areas would you cut to balance the budget?
Candidates had one minute to answer the question.
The levy needs to pass, Huusko said, but it will not fix all the budget issues. However, the levy would prevent the district from making certain cuts.
If the levy does not pass, Huusko said that the board asks district administration to find areas that would have the least impact on education.
Huusko added that among the programs that would have to be cut is the developmental psychology and fifth grade band, which is also noted on the district website.
“We need the levy to pass to continue to move forward,” Huusko said.
The need for more funds does not mean that they are failing, Roseen said, but that they are providing the programs that are best for the district.
“As long as we can show that we’re responsible with spending our money and making sure that every dollar we receive is giving a dollar’s worth of value to the people who supported that tax increase, we’ve done our job,” Roseen said.
If the levy doesn’t pass, he said that though it would be unpleasant, the district would just have to make the necessary cuts to balance the budget.
Angrimson said that he fully supports the levy and believes that it will pass. He would prefer not to think about the cuts that would have to be made if the levy fails.
“I’m not on the board right now, but if you’re thinking about cuts, you have a negative aura out there,” Angrimson said.
The district has made over $30 million in budget cuts over the past few years, Coulson said. More cuts will be made if the levy doesn’t pass, and even if it does pass, the district may have to make cuts in the 2015-16 school year.
If the levy doesn’t pass, Coulson said that they have a list and have tried to be transparent about the cuts that will have to be made.
“We’re looking at higher class size at every level in the district,” he said, and noted that class size has already increased in the past few years.
“That’s not what this community needs,” Coulson said. “We need to invest in our schools.”
Video of the entire forum is available online.
- Part 1 - District 196 School Board Candidates Name Top 3 Priorities
- Part 2 - District 196 is Innovative, Say School Board Candidates