Frequently Asked Questions
What are the facility needs at Round Lake-Brewster School?
Parts of the Round Lake-Brewster School building date back to 1914, and it has served our students and community well over the past 100-plus years. However, we have discovered cracks and deterioration that could affect the structural integrity of the building if we wait too long to address them. While temporary fixes have been made, we must take action to find a more permanent solution to these needs.
Additionally, parts of the building no longer meet the needs of a 21st century educational experience. We have an opportunity to update some of our spaces to ensure we can continue preparing students for the career and college opportunities of the future.
District leaders and the School Board have been responsible stewards of taxpayer dollars and have looked for ways to reduce the impact on taxpayers as we maintain our facilities. However, we are at a point at which we cannot delay addressing our facility needs any longer.
What would happen if these needs are not addressed?
If we do not address these needs soon, the outstanding educational experience our community members have come to expect could be jeopardized. We believe the time has come to address our facility needs to ensure students continue to have access to the resources and spaces they need to be successful at Round Lake-Brewster School.
What is the proposed solution on the ballot February 14, 2023?
An approved bond referendum would allow Round-Lake Brewster to move forward on a series of facility projects to address needs at our school. These include:
Replacing parts of the current school—including those built in 1914 and 1938, along with part of the 1961 structure—with a new building addition
20 new modern classrooms, including eight that will be additional spaces to meet the demands of future growth
A new gymnasium
Dedicated music, art, and science classrooms, along with support spaces
An updated library and media center
A new cafeteria with improved serving lines and a larger-capacity, full-service kitchen
An improved student pickup and drop-off area to improve safety and security
A new staff parking lot
If we can move ahead on these projects, Round Lake-Brewster students will have access to updated, modern facilities that will help prepare them for the years to come. Our building will also be much more energy efficient, saving on operational costs and allowing us to invest more funds into programs and services. Additionally, the school will have updated mechanical systems and plumbing.
What is a bond referendum?
A bond referendum provides a district with funds to make improvements to facilities and building infrastructure. For example, bonds can be used for major construction, such as renovation, building an addition, building new schools, or general building projects.
Will community members get to vote on the proposed solution to the district's facilities needs?
Yes. The School Board has approved a bond referendum question that will appear on the ballot Tuesday, February 14, 2023.
What are Round Lake-Brewster’s enrollment projections?
Round Lake-Brewster is unique among rural Minnesota school districts in that our enrollment is growing. Our enrollment has increased steadily over the past 12 years. For the 2022-23 school year alone, our enrollment increased by about 68 students.
This growth is a testament to the quality of our schools and the support of our community for the children we serve. Below are just a few highlights:
We are proud to have the area’s first all-day, everyday preschool program for four-year-olds.
We have been recognized as being in the top 5% statewide when it comes to the success of our English language learners.
Students receive instruction in physical education, music, and the arts on a daily basis.
Thanks to our growth, we have been able to once again offer our own soccer and basketball programs.
Our district has become a curriculum leader in our region, as other schools are using our math and reading models.
We look to continue this level of excellence by ensuring our students have access to quality spaces and facilities well into the future.
Does Round Lake-Brewster accept too many open enrolled students?
Not at all. In fact, open enrollment is a big benefit to our district and community, as we receive increased revenue as our enrollment grows. This allows us to maintain critical programs and services for all our students.
Without open enrollment, programs would need to be cut, staff would be reduced, and class sizes would increase.
To be a growing school district means providing increased opportunities for all students. Open enrollment is a key component to this growth.
Does the district receive revenue for open enrolled students?
Yes. School districts in Minnesota receive most of their revenue from the state, with a majority of that revenue generated through the general education allowance. For fiscal year 2022-23, the general education formula allowance is $6,832 per student. Round Lake-Brewster will receive more than $2 million in state general education aid for open enrolled students from other districts.
How would an approved bond affect property taxes?
An approved bond would have a property tax impact of $32 per month on a home assessed at $150,000. Click here for a tax impact calculator.
Homeowners who can claim the Homestead Credit will see a reduced tax impact for the referendum, depending on the fair market value of their home. The Minnesota Special Property Tax Refund is also available each year to owners of homestead properties with a gross tax increase of at least 12% and $100 over prior year. This can be helpful during the first year of the referendum.
Agricultural property owners will receive the Ag2School Tax Credit, which is a 70% credit reducing taxes on school district bond payments. As a result, the state of Minnesota will cover the costs of about 52% of the referendum, if approved.
Is there any tax relief for agricultural property owners?
The Minnesota legislature passed the Ag2School Tax Credit in 2017, which reduces the taxes owed by agricultural property owners for school district bond payments.
The Ag2School tax credit is a 70% credit automatically applied to property tax bills for all agricultural property owners. Property owners do not need to apply to receive the credit.
The Ag2School credit would result in the State of Minnesota paying an estimated 52% of the projects being proposed. This reduces the burden to Round Lake–Brewster taxpayers.
How much revenue would an approved bond generate for the district?
If approved, the bond would provide the Round Lake-Brewster School District 2907 with $30.48 million in additional revenue to address our most pressing facility needs.
Will ballots be mailed?
Mail balloting does not apply for special elections.
Can I vote absentee in this election?
Yes. Absentee Ballots are handled by the County Auditor’s Office. If you live in Jackson County, you must go to the Jackson County Auditor’s Office. Those who live in Nobles County must go to the Nobles County Auditor’s Office.
Absentee voting hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. There will also be extended hours on Saturday, February 11, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Monday, February 13, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Where will I vote on election day?
On election day, residents of the following townships will vote at the Brewster City Hall: Hersey Township, The City of Brewster, Graham Lakes Township, Lorain Township, Ewington Township, LaCrosse Township, and Alba Township.
Residents of these townships will vote at the Round Lake City Hall: Round Lake Township, the City of Round Lake, and Indian Lake Township.
Polls will be open at both locations from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, February 14.