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Trust is About Keeping Commitments

December is an important month for school finances, and we are grateful for the community support that allows us to move into fiscal year 2023 in a stable position. Our school district referendum was approved with 63% voter support on November 2. And after three years of budget cuts, we are committed to responsible spending and oversight of the new funding. We will continue to work with the Citizen’s Finance Advisory Committee to ensure the funds are only used for their intended purpose.

The referendum will provide $3.5 million annually — less than the $8.5 million cut since 2019 — and can only be used to hire/retain high-quality staff, reduce class sizes, expand career technical education and college readiness, and support student learning. Thank you to everyone who took time to learn about the issues and vote in November.

Doing what we promised

In the decision leading up to the referendum, the School Board made a commitment to reduce other tax levies to minimize the impact of the referendum. At the last School Board Meeting, the Board took the first step to do just that by refinancing and restructuring 2012 capital bonds to take advantage of lower interest rates and reduce taxes. For agricultural landowners this reduces the school district portion of their property taxes for 2022 and there is no additional cost associated with the passed referendum.

In recent weeks, all property owners should have received their preliminary tax statements. Included on the tax statement was a sentence that said if our school referendum was approved, your property taxes may be different than the amount listed. For a property valued at $200,000 (other than agricultural land) the additional taxes will be about $144 per year. For your convenience, we have a tax calculator on our website for property owners to calculate their individual tax impact based on estimated market value. Please visit www.ehlers-inc.com/microsite/ci2021/

We are hiring

For the first time in three years, we are hiring with a positive outlook for continued employment instead of layoffs and budget cuts. Like many other businesses, our schools continue to be short-staffed following the pandemic. We have multiple positions open — bus drivers, food service workers, custodians, instructional assistants, and substitutes. We also have a need for before and after-school childcare workers, along with  other various community education jobs. Many of the positions require no previous experience and include training. We only ask that you believe in the potential of every student, every day.

We are a community of learners. If you have a growth mindset and believe there is always something new to learn, if you enjoy lifting others up and helping young people discover their path, if you are optimistic about the future and want to serve your community, if you are responsible and believe in an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay, please consider joining our team. Our schools are the heartbeat of our community, and we are hiring!

Cambridge-Isanti Schools is also actively recruiting among a very competitive teacher candidate pool. There is a teacher shortage, and it started long before the pandemic. In 1975, one in five college students majored in education. In 2016, fewer than 5% of college freshmen planned to major in education (according to the National Education Association). The top teacher candidates will be looking for communities that value education, are growing, and can provide job stability and mentoring during their early years in the profession. We can proudly say — that’s Cambridge-Isanti Schools. If you have a teacher-education major in your family, encourage them to contact us about student teaching and a potential future career as a Bluejacket.

Strong Schools, Strong Communities

Strong communities have strong schools, and the vote of support our district received on November 2 will allow us to remain active in local economic development plans by attracting workers with families who value a small town and want a good education for their children. Our community has a long history of excellence and a positive outlook for growth. It is indeed a great day to be a Bluejacket, and we thank you for your continued support.


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