School Finance Services

Building Strong, Vibrant Learning Communities

For more than 65 years, Ehlers has helped school districts build strong and vibrant learning communities. Our integrated, best practice client service model allows clients to collaborate with a single advisory firm for financial and referendum planning, debt issuance and management, and comprehensive post-issuance services, as well as reliable modeling and benchmarking analyses.

We are honored to serve as the primary municipal advisor for more than 65% of Minnesota’s school districts and a quickly expanding base of Wisconsin school districts. Having advised on more than $3.1 billion in successful bond referendums since 2018, Ehlers’ advisors bring unparalleled expertise and value to every district we serve.

Debt Planning & Management Services provided by Ehlers & Associates.
Paying Agent Services provided by affiliate Bond Trust Services Corporation.
Investment Services provided by affiliate Ehlers Investment Partners.

Hands-On, Team-Based Approach

Ehlers builds strong, long-lasting client relationships – working directly and collaboratively with you – to help plan and complete projects that provide generational benefits for school district students, families and taxpayers. We:

  • Assign multiple advisors to each relationship
  • Deliver hands-on expertise, direct school district experience and full continuity of Ehlers’ team service
  • Listen carefully to understand challenges & uncover opportunities
  • Complete thorough analyses and help you choose the best approach

Debt Planning & Issuance

Our advisors have more than 125 years of combined school finance expertise, leveraging deep market knowledge, strong relationships with the rating agencies, and industry best practices to proactively guide clients on bond referendum planning and support, and debt issuance. We collaborate with district clients to help ensure the following factors are incorporated into every debt issue:

  • Financing options & feasibility
  • Current indebtedness & future capital plans
  • Tax impact
  • Refunding opportunities


Operating Referendum Planning & Support

When an anticipated budget shortfall has your district searching for solutions, look to Ehlers’ School Finance Team for operating referendum planning and support. We equip you with the following knowledge and data to help objectively educate your voters:

  • Projected revenue per pupil
  • Tax implications
  • State aid & levy components

Capital Project Levy Assistance

With voter approval, school districts can establish a capital project account funded by an annual tax levy. Often referred to as a “technology levy,” capital project levies provide an annual stream of revenue to fund a long-term technology plan. Capital project levies can also fund deferred maintenance, building projects or any other expense permitted for operating capital funds. Ehlers’ services to support your district’s capital project levy include:

  • Revenue projections
  • Levy option analysis
  • Review and comment process, if applicable
  • Tax impacts

Enrollment Projections & Budget Modeling Tools

Ehlers’ financial modeling tools can provide you with well-informed data to help with annual budgets, facilities forecasting and referendum planning. Our enrollment projections and budget models are interactive, “living documents” that help you weigh many factors and “what-if” scenarios, such as:

  • Enrollment determinations, including kindergarten and open enrollment projections
  • Current and future facilities needs
  • Anticipated state funding, existing operating levies, current and projected operating expenses

Benchmarking & Best Practices Reporting

Know exactly where you’re going by paying close attention to where you – and others – have been! Ehlers’ comparative analytics tools can help your district improve financial operations and efficiencies by:

  • Generating multi-factor comparisons across all aspects of school operations
  • Understanding how your district compares to neighboring or like-sized districts
  • Providing unbiased decision-making data

Truth in Taxation Presentations & Support

Complying with Truth in Taxation hearing requirements is easier with the professional support of Ehlers’ School Finance Team. We will gather all the information needed to prepare and deliver a presentation that fulfills the State of Minnesota’s requirements.