• 1. How is this opt out different from a bond referendum?

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    While both are considered levies on your property tax statement, they serve different purposes and in some cases are restricted in how the money can be used. It is often said that, "opt outs are for operations and bonds are for building."

    OPT OUTS are the funds that the district uses to run and operate its schools. It provides money above the basic state allocation to be used for day-to-day expenses such as staff salaries, supplies, heating expenses, transportation and co-curricular programs.

    BOND LEVIES are the funds the district uses for new construction, renovations or additions to school buildings. These funds cannot be used to run schools, hire teachers or support general operating expenses.

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  • 2. What happens if the opt out is approved?

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    If approved, the Brookings School District will be able to enhance the quality of programs and services expected in Brookings allowing the district to:

    • Attract and retain high quality teachers and staff
    • Ensure students have skills they need to be prepared for college, career and life
    • Provide personalized learning opportunities for all students
    • Remain competitive nationally and internationally
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  • 3. What happens if the opt out is not approved?

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    If the opt-out does not pass, the district will face a budget shortfall due to a loss of pension revenue, anticipated discontinued use of capital outlay flexibility, and a projected end of year operating deficit. The Brookings School District will struggle to maintain current programming and student support in the 2018-19 school year and beyond. A loss may result in:

     Reductions in programs and services.
     Reduced professional learning opportunities.
     Reduced course offerings.
     Increased class sizes.

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  • 4. How long will the opt out be in effect?

    Posted by:


    The board approved length of time is 10 years.

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  • 5. Is the intention to use the full $5,100,000 right away?

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    No.  The district would intend to use $3,800,000 of the opt out funding.  The board then utilized an inflationary factor of 2.5% over ten years to arrive at the amount of $5,100,000.  The opt out provides the district with a revenue stream to provide predictability and stability in funding for schools and programs in the district over the next 10 years. 

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  • 6. What will the additional dollars generated by this new opt out be used for?

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    The opt out will be used for three key areas: Student Support and Instruction, Staff Support, and District Operations.  The specific programs under each of the areas is listed below.

      • Reading teachers in the schools to assist with student reading needs
      • Reading interventionists to support the reading development of struggling readers
      • Certified librarians in each school to support the library/media functions in the schools
      • Counselor additions and counseling supports to assist with student academic and socioemotional needs
      • School nurses in each school to assist with student health and wellbeing needs
      • Technology supports to assist with increased uses and integration of technology in the classrooms
      • Extra-duty staffing to support the increasing participation numbers of students
      • Alternative education school to support high school graduation pathways for students
      • Remedial summer school programming to ensure students remain on schedule for advancement and/or graduation
      • Class size reduction – 22 students per class – to provide for greater personalized, customized, and individualized instruction
      • Reading coaches in the district to support reading instruction across the core content areas
      • Increased staff development to support teacher quality and effectiveness through the district
      • Director of career and technical education (CTE) to support CTE staff and program needs as we expand internships and apprenticeships throughout the district
      • Instructional coaches to assist teachers with overall effectiveness
      • Dean of students to support staff with challenging student behaviors and student attendance concerns
      • Behavior room for student needs with behavior interventions and supports
      • Human resources director to support and manage core human resource operations of the district
      • Foundation executive director to foster, support, maintain, and grow relations with alumni and to develop a comprehensive school district foundation for scholarship and innovation
      • Transportation services including increased bus drivers as the district continues to grow and a transportation secretary to assist with the operations of the district transportation services
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  • 7. Given the current facility plans/changes, why is the district going for an opt out?

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    Currently, the district uses $300,000 in funding from capital outlay to help with general fund expenditures.  We know that we will need to use capital outlay funds to pay for school facility improvements.  The district therefore will need to find other funding options or reduce programming options by $300,000 if we proceed with removing capital outlay funds as a revenue source from the general fund budget.  The opt out funding would replace the capital outlay fund transfer that is currently being utilized to fund the general fund budget.

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  • 8. What happens to my taxes if this opt out is approved?

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    $3,953,118 Example (Opt Out amount without inflation):  On a $200,000 TAXABLE VALUE home – tax would increase less than $25 per month.

    $5,100,000 Example (Opt Out amount with 10 years of inflation):  On a $200,000 TAXABLE VALUE home – tax would increase less than $35 per month. 

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