MREA released an interactive map today that reveals a growing statewide dependence of school districts on Local Optional Revenue (LOR) and an increasing rural-metro disparity in voter approved operating referendum revenue per pupil.

Now 100 Minnesota school districts receive $724 per adjusted pupil unit in LOR ($424) and Board Authorized Referendum Revenue ($300) with no additional voter approved revenue to the state’s general formula. This represents 30 percent of the state’s school districts. Ninety-three of the 100 districts are in Greater Minnesota.

The average LOR and Operating Referendum Revenue (whether voter or board authorized) is $1,370 per APU.

  • About 54 percent of metro districts receive revenue above the average.
  • About 76 percent of rural districts have less than $1,370 per pupil in LOR and Operating Referendum Revenue.
  • The median district revenue is $983 (Ely).

Only 19 districts in Minnesota have less than $724 in Operating Referendum and LOR revenue.

View the interactive map to see your school district and how it compares to others in Minnesota.

This map does not take in account the eight Greater Minnesota and eight metro approved increases in operating referendum passed in November 2018. Operating Referendum passage rates continue to show a stark rural-metro divide.  Rural voters approved only 42 percent of requested increases, while metro voters approved 100 percent of the increases. Learn more.

The Minnesota Legislature in 2019 modified the state share of Operating Referendums Revenue and Local Optional Revenue (LOR) in two ways:

  • Rolling the $300 Board Authorized Operating Referendum into LOR
  • Increasing the Tier 2 equalization of Operating Referendums from $510,000 per RMV/RPU to $567,000. Learn More