LA CRESCENT, Minn. (WKBT) -

Voters in the La Crescent-Hokah School District will be asked to answer a referendum question when they head to the polls on November 8th.

District officials are asking residents to approve a new operating referendum increasing the education levy from about $226.72 per student to $626.72 per student over the next 5 years.

The district has had to cut about a half-million dollars from their budget every year for the past four or five years and this increase would help recover those losses.

Superintendent Kevin Cardille says if the referendum isn't passed, some more tough decisions could be made -- including cutting all of the school's sports.

"Half a million dollars is equivalent to about nine teachers, 17 programs," said Cardille. "Our whole athletic program costs us about a half million dollars. A way that we can do that and still keep the educational programs going is cut the athletic program and be able to survive here and provide things that we need for our students."

If passed, the levy increase would be for five years, which is half the length of a typical education levy in Minnesota. The superintendent says the shorter length gives them more flexibility to re-evaluate their finances in a few years.