Frequently Asked Questions


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The New Prague Area Schools, like most Minnesota school districts, relies on voter-approved referenda for operating and special capital project funds. Funds generated from local operating referendums fund learning activities and day-to-day operations, including salary and benefits of employees, building operations, and technology. Increasingly, Minnesota school districts are being asked to go to their voters for funding increases as state and federal funding has not kept pace with the rising cost of inflation; unfunded and partially funded mandates; and the rising cost of 21st-century education.

NPAS has traditionally taken a conservative approach when creating their yearly budgets and in doing so, has been fiscally responsible stewards of taxpayer dollars. This was confirmed in a Community Survey commissioned in the Summer of 2023 when 68% of respondents gave the NPAS a good to excellent rating per financial management of the school district and 77% of respondents believing the NPAS has spent effectively. Based on this feedback and the possibility of looming budget reductions, the School Board made the decision to ask voters for a funding increase.

Approval will result in a $19.29 monthly tax increase to a home valued at $350,000. The estimated tax impact of this operating request is provided in more detail on the Proud Tradition AND Promising Future 2023 Operating Referendum page located on the NPAS website.

An operating levy does not tax the value of agricultural land. Taxes are paid based on the value of the house, garage, and one acre.

Currently, the New Prague Area Schools benefit from $246.70 per pupil funding. The operating referendum was renewed by the school board in June 2023 and will remain in place through the end of the 2029-30 academic year.

After a failed referendum and a failed technology levy request in the Fall of 2022, the NPAS’ Proud Tradition & Promising Future Operating Referendum campaign has been scaled back from the previous request. The new request is focused on maintaining the high levels of programming the NPAS’ communities are accustomed to from their schools. A summary of the language from the previous year’s referendum request is as follows:
  • Question 1: Revoke the existing referendum of $246.70, scheduled to expire after taxes payable in 2023, and replace that authorization with a new authorization of $621.70 per pupil for six years.

  • Question 2: Proposed a capital projects levy authorization to raise approximately $1.5 million dollars over six years, with money used to provide funds for the purchase, installation, and maintenance of technology to support student learning, technology support staff, network infrastructure, and operational software.
If these requests had passed they would have resulted in a nearly $30 per month increase on a home valued at $300,000.

Overall, NPAS ranks 316 out of 328 (with 328 being the lowest) school districts when you combine state and local funding.
Revenue per Student

Overall, NPAS ranks 316 out of 328 (with 328 being the lowest) school districts when you combine state and local funding.

Unfortunately, funding from the state and federal governments has not kept pace with increasing inflation; unfunded and partially funded mandates; and the rising costs of educating 21st-century students. As an example, required Special Education programs cost the District 1.7 million dollars more than it receives each year from the State and Federal governments, putting additional pressure on the District’s operating budget.

Every year this levy will be increased by a percentage determined by The Minnesota Department of Education based on the Consumer Price Index. This increase applies to this levy only and will not affect other levies. From 2016 to 2021, the average annual increase was 1.8%. In 2022 and 2023 the increase was 7.2% and 6.3% respectively. Current estimates show an average increase of 2.4% over the next seven years.
Example: For a $350,000 home with an increase of $19.29 per month, a 2.4% increase would result in an increase of $0.46 per month.

The NPAS cut over $3 million dollars in the Spring of 2023 as a result of a failed operating request in the Fall of 2022. Many of these reductions were one-time monies and potentially could be brought back if additional funding was secured. The Community Survey in the summer of 2023 indicated that over 50% of the respondents do not believe the NPAS are being funded properly.

Almost $1 million dollars of the $3.1 million dollars adjustments were one-time adjustments and most of these cannot continue into the 24-25 school year (i.e. the purchasing of a school bus). Additional funding will allow the NPAS to maintain small class sizes, instructional technology, supports for underachieving students and social-emotional supports, as well as avoid future budget reductions.

If not approved, further structural budget reductions will be required that will potentially impact class sizes; increase the walking distance to and from schools for students at all levels; and reduce our ability to provide much needed social-emotional supports as well as intervention supports to students who are behind grade level expectations. As a point of reference, if this referendum does not pass we will need to make at least $1 million dollars in reductions for the 2024-25 school year. The reductions would continue in future years, increasing each year.



Register to Vote

Election day is Nov. 7, 2023. Residents of the NPAS district can register to vote or update their voter registration now.

Early Voting / Absentee

Residents can participate in early voting now.

Election Day

If you are voting in-person on Nov. 7, 2023, find your polling location and times.



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