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Blue Earth Area unveils website to explain referendum

BLUE EARTH — Blue Earth Area Schools announced Wednesday that it has launched a website — www.BEAExcellence.org — meant to inform residents about the proposed operating levy on the ballot Nov. 3.

If approved, the levy would provide more financial support for the district’s programming and operations.

“We encourage residents to explore the website to learn more about the challenges our school district faces and the plan to protect student services, faculty and staff levels, and activities,” said Superintendent Mandy Fletcher.

The website contains details about the school district’s finances, operations, the ballot question, voting information and the tax impact on local property owners, according to a press release from the school.

Blue Earth Area was forced to cut nearly $1 million from its operating budget earlier this year, with the district pointing to lagging state and federal funding, unfunded mandates and declining enrollment as reasons.

Despite the reductions, officials say future budget deficits will require additional cuts to teachers, supplies and programs.

To avoid those cuts, the Blue Earth Area School Board has proposed a local operating levy that will produce $700 per pupil over the next 10 years. Blue Earth Area currently has no operating levy in place.

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