Midwest town considers $34M expansion of schools crowded by migrant influx

Politics

In this Oct. 31, 2019 photo, a yard sign supporting a school funding ballot measure is seen in Worthington, Minn. Voters in this southwestern Minnesota town will weigh nearly $34 million in new borrowing to expand schools filled to overflowing in recent years by an influx of immigrants, on, Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019. (AP Photo/Stephen Groves)

WORTHINGTON, Minn. (AP) — Citizens in the southwestern Minnesota town of Worthington are voting on whether to approve nearly $34 million in new borrowing to expand schools filled to overflowing in recent years by an influx of immigrants.

Voters in the Worthington-area school district have rejected five similar measures since 2013. Some residents say racism played a role in those defeats. But members of a group that helped sink previous bond proposals say their opposition is fiscal, not racial.

The last referendum, in February, failed by only 17 votes.

The vote in Worthington is one of over 70 referendums taking place in school districts across Minnesota on Tuesday, while many districts are electing school boards, and some 30 cities are holding municipal elections.

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