The Brookfield R-III School District Levy, Proposition 2, is up for renewal for the Linn County General Municipal Election April 3.
According to Brookfield Superintendent Dr. Kyle Collins, the levy has been in effect since 2012 and has not increased since then.
The operating levy has been used since 2012 to purchase new technology for the school, including new computers and Wi-Fi throughout the campus. Other purchases made with the funds generated by the levy include school buses, school supplies and textbooks. The levy provides funds for the general operation of the Brookfield School District as well, paying for food services, adding money to the reserve funds and providing raises to Brookfield educators for the first time since 2012.
According to Collins, Brookfield teachers’ salaries were locked without the levy.
“We’ve been able to unfreeze teachers’ salaries. (Their) salaries had been frozen for a number of years. Last year was the first year that we’ve been able to actually give a raise,” Collins said.
The levy currently generates 42 cents for every $100 of property for the Brookfield School District. This levy has been in place since 2012 and if the renewal is passed the levy would continue to 2023. The levy currently has a sunset clause of five years to assess whether the money generated would be necessary to the school district.
According to Collins, the money currently generated has helped improve the Brookfield School District.
“We’ve built up district reserves. We’ve made progress in salaries, we’ve made progress in technology, we’ve added Wi-Fi throughout campus” Collins said. “Having this levy will allow us to continue down that path.”
If the levy does not pass, the money needed to operate the Brookfield School District would likely come from the state, although the state has withheld funds in the past. Currently the vote needed to pass the levy is a four-sevenths vote, or slightly more than a simple majority.
Most important for Collins is telling people the truth.
“The most important thing to know is that this is not a new tax. It’s the same tax they’ve been paying since 2012,” Collins said. “We’ve made good progress and we don’t want to go backwards.”