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Z-M regroups after operating levy increase fails

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news Red Wing, 55066

Red Wing Minnesota 2760 North Service Drive / P.O. Box 15 55066

Zumbrota-Mazeppa School District will "go back to the drawing board" after its operating levy increase failed Tuesday night, Supt. Tony Simons said.

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"We're disappointed, obviously," Simons said. "When you run those things, you like them to pass."

The school asked voters to increase its current $950 per pupil operating levy by $350 per pupil for the next five years. The increase would have brought in about $440,000 a year, Simons said.

But the measure failed with 1,987 no votes (53.4 percent) to 1,734 yes votes (46.6 percent).

Now, Simons said, the school will have to make some cuts. While it's not clear where those cuts will come, Simons said the district will try to scale back in ways that will have the least impact on students.

"We have to stay focused on what our job is and that is to provide quality education for our kids," he said.

The district will regroup, engaging the community and holding meetings with the School Board to determine the next steps, Simons said. Those will include a future levy request put to the voters.

"We'll go back to the drawing board and we'll look at running it again," he said. "We'll run it as soon as we can. We'll take a little different approach."

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