To the Editor,
For the past six years, I have been honored to serve on the Chatfield School Board, and like my fellow colleagues, I take great pride in our district and its accomplishments, including the district’s efforts to manage costs effectively.
Over the past two years, the school board managed several financial challenges due to rising education costs and additional expenses that were needed to respond to the pandemic. We made spending cuts to help eliminate a $500,000 deficit, became more efficient during the pandemic and are using one-time federal money to address key needs.
Today, we are pleased that our financial position is sound and stable. Enrollment trends are positive, and we don’t have a significant open enrollment challenge.
We have been able to maintain this financial stability thanks to the 2015 community-approved operating levy that provides $430,000 per year to support the operating budget. This levy continues to allow us to maintain stable levels of staffing, student programming and services. However, this levy will expire after this year.
On November 2, Chatfield area voters will decide whether to renew our current operating levy for seven more years, which will help the district’s financial stability as we look towards the future. The tax impact on residents would remain approximately the same as it is now, assuming that individual property values don’t change.
This is an important community decision, and I encourage everyone to learn more about the school board’s plan at ChatfieldStrong2021.org. You can also attend an informational meeting about the referendum on Wednesday, October 13 from 6-7 p.m. in the Forum Room at Chatfield High School, 205 Union St. NE, Chatfield, Minn.
Your voice matters, so please vote on or before November 2.
Chatfield School Board Chair