2018 Duluth Education Levy Referendum

Tuesday November 6, 2018


August Business Committee Meeting

Board members and administration reviewed and discussed a referendum that would ask voters to consider renewing and increasing education funding in Duluth. Click here to review the presentation.

Increasing current local education funding would help support community priorities and goals, including class size, classroom technology and increasing student opportunities through schedule changes.

The Board will vote on the ballot questions at their regular meeting Tuesday August 21, 2018.

Question 1: Renewal

  • Maintain current levy investment of 16-18 full-time teacher positions to support class size
  • This does not result in a property tax increase
  • If Question 1 fails, Questions 2 & 3 automatically fail.

Question 2: Class Size

  • Adds approximately 25 teachers district-wide to manage class size, increase site funding for specific supports based on needs
  • Increase of $8.64 per month for the average home*
  • If Questions 1 and 2 fail, Question 3 automatically fails.

Question 3: 1 to 1 Classroom Technology Across the District

  • Provide students and staff with devices, upgrade systems, training and technical support
  • Additional Increase of $5.03 per month for the average home*

During the meeting another possibility was discussed for Question 3, that of changing middle and high school schedules to provide secondary students an opportunity to fit additional courses into the school year. That option would be an additional increase of $5.78 per month for the average home.*

*Average Duluth Home $150,000


If the renewal doesn’t pass, schools will lose about $3.3 million in local education funding and class sizes would rise significantly over time. There would be slow or no updates to classroom technology.

The proposed referendum revenue authorization would be for ten years.


Our Schools.  Our Community.  Our Future.

On July 26, the Duluth School Board passed a resolution of intent to move forward with an operating (education) levy referendum.  

The current voter-approved education levy expires this year.  It provides support for managing class size, student achievement and curriculum updates. 

  • The resolution is the first step in placing a question or questions on the ballot.
  • Through state legislation, the Board could have changed a portion of the current voter-approved levy to Board-approved. The Board discussed that option and ultimately chose to put the entire amount to voters for renewal. 
  • The next step will be to draft details associated with the question.  
  • The question could ask voters to consider renewing the current levy, it could include asking voters to consider increasing the current levy, or some combination. 
  • Details will include what voters are being asked to consider, how much it would cost, what would be the impact on an average home, what would the funds be used for and other important information. 
  • That work will take place over the next few weeks, with Board approval of the final levy question(s) and details expected in August

Please Vote November 6.

Prepared and paid for by ISD 709, 215 N. First Avenue East Duluth, MN 55802. This publication is circulated to apprise voters of facts pertinent to the referendum proposal. This publication is not circulated on behalf of any candidate or ballot question.