Rural Minnesota voters in 43 school districts on Tuesday approved bond referendums or operating referendum increases. Five of those communities approved both a bond referendum and operating referendum increase at the same time. This represents a 84 percent passage rate, the highest in recent history.

Bond referendums, in particular, saw an overall increase in passage rates. In 21 of 25 communities, voters approved at least one bond referendum question for a 84 percent overall passage rate across Greater Minnesota.

“The 84% passage rate is a strong endorsement of our rural Minnesota schools and the increase demonstrates that a greater state share of these local taxpayer costs matters,” MREA Executive Director Fred Nolan said.

While each community was faced with a different question, the one change from 2018 was the increase in the Ag2School bond tax credit to farmers and timber land owners from 40 percent to 50 percent with a schedule to go to 70 percent.

“Without the Ag2School credit, this [voter approval] would not have been possible,” said Aaron Cook, Superintendent of Ada Borup.  Ag2School was a signature effort of MREA and multiple state agriculture organizations in the 2017 and 2019 legislative sessions.

During the November 2018 election, Greater Minnesota voters approved 13 of 19 bond requests (68%), and only 8 of 19 Operating Referendum increases (42%). Learn more about 2018 results.

Bond Referendums

Passed Bond Referendum 11/5/19

Failed Bond Referendum 11/5/19

ISD # District Name ISD # District Name
2854 Ada-Borup 2908 Brandon-Evansville
726 Becker 600 Fisher
2364 Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa 2365 G.F.W.
593 Crookston 332 Mora
182 Crosby-Ironton
2164 Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton
423 Hutchinson
2895 Jackson County Central
2853 Lac Qui Parle Valley
465 Litchfield Q1
2180 M.A.C.C.R.A.Y.
152 Moorhead
761 Owatonna
547 Parkers Prairie
630 Red Lake Falls
47 Sauk Rapids-Rice
858 St. Charles
486 Swanville
435 Waubun-Ogema-White Earth
518 Worthington
2805 Zumbrota-Mazeppa

Operating Referendums

In 22 of 26 rural communities at least one operating referendum revenue increase question was approved, achieving over a 84 percent passage rate. This is also the highest achieved in recent history.  The 2019 legislature enacted a small increase in the operating referendum equalization, which MREA advocated for in 2019.

An additional six districts were seeking operating referendum renewals that routinely pass.

Passed Op Referendum Increases 11/5/19

Failed Op Referendum Increases 11/5/19

ISD # District Name ISD # District Name
152 Adrian 2860 Blue Earth Area
206 Alexandria 2687 Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted
726 Becker 2172 Kenyon-Wanamingo
2364 Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa 306 Laporte
2534 Bird Island-Olivia-Lake Lillian    
877 Buffalo-Hanover-Montrose    
514 Ellsworth    
656 Faribault    
2859 Glencoe-Silver Lake    
2886 Glenville-Emmons    
2137 Kingsland    
465 Litchfield    
497 Lyle    
2180 M.A.C.C.R.A.Y.    
912 Milaca    
548 Pelican Rapids    
748 Sartell-St. Stephen    
743 Sauk Centre    
534 Stewartville    
486 Swanville    
2125 Triton    
458 Truman