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Legislature > House of Representatives > House Research > Data & Tools > MN Gov't in Brief

School Districts and Special Districts

School districts are the most significant kind of special purpose government unit. Minnesota has about 3,287 local government units in total.

School Districts

There are 332 school districts in Minnesota.

  • Consolidation has eliminated 103 districts since 1990.
  • Most governed by six- or seven-member elected boards.
  • Most districts elect at-large board members for four-year terms.

Other Special Districts

  • Enabling law may be special or general, and determines financing.
  • Perform a single function (or several functions) as distinguished from general purpose governments.
  • Governance depends on the enabling law.
  • Examples are hospital, sanitary, and watershed districts, and housing redevelopment authorities (HRAs).

230 special taxing districts levied for taxes payable in 2014. There are other special taxing districts that do not levy. Examples of other special purpose districts that do not levy include subordinate service districts, special service districts, and districts established by joint powers agreements.

January 2017

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