School upkeep costs a sore point for Minn. schools

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Some Minnesota school districts say they are at a disadvantage in paying for basic maintenance because the state allows only a small number of districts to raise taxes without voter approval.

The St. Paul Pioneer Press reported Sunday (http://bit.ly/JDJ7rb ) that a special committee will make recommendations to the Legislature in February on how and whether the system should be changed.

About $1.3 billion is designated statewide each year for school facilities. A recent report by the Minnesota Department of Education shows half of that money comes from voter-approved levies, and the rest comes from district or state funds.

Just 25 Minnesota districts can raise taxes for facilities without voter approval because they have a certain mix of student enrollment, building square-footage and facility age.

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