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Timeline of General Law Regulating School District Organization

Year Enacted Statute Description


M.S. 122.23; 122.532; 122.533; 124.2726 renumbered as M.S. 123A.48; 123A.75; 123A.76; 124D.30

Allows two or more school districts to consolidate into a single independent school district. Consolidation proceedings may be initiated by:

  • a resolution of the school board, or
  • a petition of 25% of voters (or 50 voters, whichever is less) in area proposed for consolidation

The county auditor must prepare a plat with the new district boundaries, and a plan showing disposition of debt and reasons for consolidation. After approval by the state board of education, voters in either district may request a referendum on the question of consolidation.

Detachment and Annexation of Land

M.S. 122.21 renumbered as M.S. 123A.45

Allows the owner of land to petition the county board to detach the land from the school district where it is located and attach it to an adjoining district.

Dissolution and Attachment

M.S. 122.22; 122.532; 122.533 renumbered as M.S. 123A.46; 123A.75; 123A.76

Allows a school district to be dissolved and attached to another school district or districts. This process is seldom used. On July 1, 1993, the Verdi school district was dissolved and attached to two other school districts which was the first dissolution for many years.

Nonoperating School District

M.S. 122.31repealed 1975; 122.32 - 122.35 renumbered as M.S. 123A.60 - 123A.62

By July 1, 1965, all districts that don't operate an elementary or secondary school must be attached to or consolidated with a district that maintains either an elementary or secondary school.

Duty to Maintain Grades K-12

M.S. 122.31 repealed 1975; 122.41 - 122.52 renumbered as M.S. 123A.64 - 123A.72

By July 1, 1970, all districts without an elementary and a secondary school must be attached to or consolidated with an adjoining district that maintains schools for all grades.

Experimental Pairing

M.S. 122.84 repealed 1985; 122.85 repealed 1985

Authorized specific school districts to discontinue any of the grades K-12 and provide for those grades in the other district.

Expenses of Transition

M.S. 122.533 renumbered as M.S. 123A.76

Authorizes the school board of a consolidated district to levy for costs of consolidation.

Interdistrict Cooperation

M.S. 122.541 renumbered as M.S. 123A.32

Allows school districts to establish agreements to discontinue grades or portions of grades. Students in discontinued grades attend school in a cooperating district.

Agreements for Secondary Education

M.S. 122.535 renumbered as M.S. 123A.30

Allows two or more districts to jointly provide education for secondary students.

Interdistrict Cooperation Aid

M.S. 124.272 repealed 1987

Provides revenue to school districts outside the metropolitan area that have a cooperation plan approved by the Commissioner of Education. The revenue is based on $50 per pupil unit or the instructional cost of the plan. State aid is equal to the revenue less the levy authority.

Cooperative Secondary Facilities Grant Act

M.S. 124.491-124.495 renumbered as M.S. 123A.44 - 123A.446

Provides incentive grants to groups of districts for building, improving, or expanding secondary facilities. Appropriations have funded grants for specific projects and for remodeling and improvement grants to consolidated or combined districts.

Extra Capital Expenditure Levy for Cooperating Districts

M.S. 124.91, subd. 4 renumbered as M.S. 126C.40, subd. 3

Allows a district to levy for the repair costs of a building in a cooperating district. Eligible districts must have an interdistrict cooperation agreement or an agreement for secondary education.

Cooperation and Combination

M.S. 122.241 - 122.247 renumbered as M.S. 123A.35 - 123A.41

Establishes procedures for qualifying districts to develop a five-year written agreement to: (1) cooperatively provide secondary instruction for two years; and (2) combine into one district. Authorizes the combined district to seek a referendum levy, to levy for bonded debt, and to levy over three years for transitional expenses. The legislature has approved specific combinations that did not meet the statutory criteria.

Cooperation and Combination Revenue

M.S. 124.2725 repealed 1998 except subd. 15 - Retirement and Severance levy - renumbered as M.S. 123A.39, subd. 3

Provides aid and levy of $100 per pupil to districts that cooperate prior to combining. The revenue was available for four years after combining. The aid portion declined each year. In addition, districts received $100 in per pupil aid the first year of cooperation and another $100 the first year of combination. Districts that combine without prior cooperation receive revenue for two years after combining.

Grants for Cooperation and Combination

M.S.129B.12 renumbered as M.S. 124C.02; repealed 1991

Provides a maximum $250,000 grant to two or more districts with a plan to cooperate and combine. The grant award may be used for any purpose of combining school districts.

Discontinuing Grades in Education Districts

M.S. 122.92, subd. 8 renumbered as M.S. 123A.16

Authorizes member school boards of an education district to discontinue grades and provide instruction within the education district.

Joint Powers Agreements for Facilities

M.S. 121.155 renumbered as M.S. 123A.78

Authorizes districts to form a joint powers district to build or acquire instructional facilities. Provides for state review, voter approval of debt, and repayment. Amended in 1991 to include other shared facilities.

School District Cooperation Revenue

M.S. 124.2727 subd. 1-6 -- intermediate district revenue -- repealed 1992 and 1994; Subd. 6a-6d renumbered as M.S. 126C.22, subd. 1-5

Provides district with revenue for cooperative efforts to replace the state funding for education organizations, including service cooperatives, regional management information centers, intermediate districts, and secondary vocational cooperatives.

Obligations of Reorganizing Districts

M.S. 122.5311 renumbered as M.S. 123A.73

Provides for the payment of capital loan and energy loan obligations of reorganizing districts by the taxable property of the combined district unless the reorganization plan specifies that the debt remains with a pre-existing district.

Capital Facilities Grants for Cooperation and Combination

M.S. 124C.60 renumbered as M.S. 123B.66

Allows districts to apply for grants of up to $100,000 for capital facilities. The grant award can only be made after the districts consolidate.

Consolidation Transition Revenue

M.S. 124.2726 renumbered as M.S. 123A.485

A state aid program that provides $300 per pupil to districts that consolidated after June 30, 1994. The revenue must be used first for the cost of early retirement incentives and then to retire any operating debt from the reorganization.

Special Consolidation Aid

M.S. 124.2728 renumbered as M.S. 123A.486

Provides aid to a reorganizing school district if the effective date of the consolidation is July 1, 1994. Aid is based on early childhood education aid and community education aid for the separate and combined districts. The proportion of state aid declines over three years.

September 2018