Going out for both operating referendums and capital support was almost exclusively a rural endeavor in Minnesota in this general election. Few school districts in Minnesota gained the support they needed with passage rates under 50 percent for operating referendums and under 40 percent for capital requests.

The operating referendum ballot questions far outweighed bond or capital levies on the ballot with 33 school districts seeking operating support and 13 requesting approval of capital projects.

Operating Referendums

Of the 35 school districts that went out for some form of operating referendum only one was from the 7-county metro area. Renewals of operating referendums overwhelmingly passed (13 to 1) while those school districts that asked for increases had a much tougher time of passing the ballot question (4 to 18).  

Operating referendums had over all passage rate of just under 50 percent, including a tie in Wheaton. Wheaton Public School had the exact same number of votes for and against their operating referendum increase.  See all the results at a glance at the end of this article.

Bond & Capital Levies

The number of bond and capital levy questions on the  general election ballot dropped from 63 last year to just 13 on Tuesday. Twelve of those districts are in rural Minnesota.

Only one out of four (25%) bonding requests in the state passed to grant the requested $6.6 million in support for Mabel Canton Schools. While capital levies performed slightly betteronly four capital levies in Minnesota received voter approval Tuesday for a passage rate of 44 percent. 

Minnesota voters approved $21.4 million in bond and capital levy requests in this election with almost half of that supporting Fridley Schools. About $150 million in requests did not receive enough support. 

  • Bonding Requests: $6.6 million passed; $137.2 million failed. 
  • Capital Levies: $ 14.8 million passed; $12.4 million failed. 

Red Rock Central received 52 percent of the votes for its building bond, but the bond did not pass due to an unfavorable review and comment. This created a situation where the school district needed 60 percent passing votes for their bond to pass, instead of the traditional majority. See all of the results at a glance below.

All Results At a Glance

Capital Results in Minnesota


Amount Passed

Amount Failed


Aitkin    $5,000,000.  Capital Levy   
Badger  $523,456    Capital Levy   
Battle Lake  $2,622,920    Capital Levy   
Floodwood    $1,190,783 Capital Levy  Only if Q1 passed 
Fridley  $10,160,000    Capital Levy   
Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted    $2,000,000 Capital Levy   
Lancaster  $1,500,000   Capital Levy   
Laporte   $3,000,000 Capital Levy    
Mabel-Canton  $6,605,000   Bond   
Milroy    $1,200,000 Capital Levy   
Park Rapids Area    $58,215,000 Bond   
Red Rock Central    $42,100,000  Bond  Needed 60% passage due to unfavorable review  
West Central Area    $36,935,000  Bond   





Operating Referendums in Minnesota

Operating Referendums 






Did Not Pass 

Albert Lea    x  Increase 
Austin    x  Increase 
Badger  x    Renew 
Bemidji    x  Increase 
Blue Earth Area  x    Renew 
Butterfield-Odin    x  Increase 
Cambridge-Isanti    x  Increase with inflation 
Cleveland    x  Increase 
Fillmore Central  x    Renew 
Floodwood    x  Increase with inflation 
Greenbush-Middle River    x  Increase 
Henning  x    Renew 
Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted    x  Increase 
Kenyon-Wanamingo    x  Increase 
Mabel Canton  x    Renew 
Marshall County Central  x    Increase 
Menahga    x  Increase 
Milroy    Question 1 did not pass; didn’t revoke 1160.09 
Montevideo  x  x  Renew passed; increase did not 
Monticello    x  Increase 
Morris Area                 x    Renew and increase passed 
Nashwauk-Keewatin  x    Increase 
New London-Spicer    x  Increase 
New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva  x  Increase 
Owatonna  x  x  Renew passed; increase did not 
Pine City  x    Renew 
Prinsburg x    Amount necessary passed 
Red Lake  x    Increase 
Red Rock Central  x    Renew 
Shakopee    x  Increase 
St. James  x    Renew 
Ulen-Hitterdal    x  Increase 
United South Central  x    Renew 
Waconia  x    Increase 
Wheaton      Tied – Increase