Bemidji Schools to go forward with operating referendum

The Bemidji School District will go forward with a referendum election.

This would be a special election, and all voters within the district will receive a notification, according to district staffer Krissi Fenner.

Fenner said the district receives about 60 percent of its revenue from the state, 4 percent from the federal government, and the other 36 percent through local levies.

An operating referendum is a 10-year investment and if passed, the new dollars would be available beginning in 2022-23.

The last referendum, attempted in November 2020, overwhelmingly failed, which led to the district’s budget cuts including the closure of Central Elementary School.

The new ask would be $460 per pupil, which would be enough to maintain existing programming and services.


Larissa Donovan is the News Director for the stations of Paul Bunyan Broadcasting and has been, almost without interruption, since Election Day 2016. She covers all the beats in north-central Minnesota, such as local government, crime, education, environment and social issues. She studied communications at Bemidji State University.


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