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Manhattan School District trusting families in decision-making ahead of school elections

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Posted at 8:34 AM, Apr 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-11 10:34:00-04

MANHATTAN — Because of the pandemic, some schools had to close their doors and switch to the remote learning model. But some schools, like the Manhattan School District, never had to.

“We surveyed our community, surveyed our families. We surveyed our teachers, and what we learned was they wanted to be here,” said Superintendent Brian Ayers.

The school district figured out a way, but ultimately left families the option to do what’s best for them.

“No questions asked. If a family wanted to access learning remotely, we did not ask,” Ayers said.

Because the superintendent says the district made a decision early on that families could decide what’s best, which started from the learning choice but quickly was adopted in regards to a levy on the ballot of this upcoming election.

“Bonds are for buildings, and levies are for learning. So, the levy will primarily go towards our staff and address some of those mandatory changes,” said Ayers.

The levy would cost an increase of $13.14 per year, per $100,000 home.

“The Manhattan School District operates within its means. We’re not a district that necessarily wants to go to our voters every single year," Ayers said. "In fact, prior to the spring of 2020, the last time our district had gone to the voters for a levy was 2014.”

Like other districts, if the levy doesn’t pass they may have to start looking at cuts in the future.

“The 2021-2022 school year, we’ll be able to use some one-time only monies to sustain our district before we have to start looking at any type of cuts, and I believe the model that Belgrade communicated, that Godfrey communicated, it would be very similar to what we would pursue," said Ayers.

For more information on exactly how much the levy will cost you, visit here.