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Southwest Schools Catch Break in District's Budget Cut Process

The district has restored $2 million to the budget, which will especially help schools in the southwest corner, the Star Tribune reported. However, the district still faces major cuts.

For those very vocal Southwest Minneapolis parents and community members, it appears their budget cut protests have been heard by the Minneapolis Public Schools Board of Education.

According to the Star Tribune, $2 million in cuts has been restored to the 2013-14 school budget, especially helping schools in the southwest corner of the city.

The Star Tribune reported:

Southwest Minneapolis schools got more money in the final allotment in part because they get less federal and state aid for educating students in poverty than most schools elsewhere in the city, according to finance officials. Thus, cuts to schools there more quickly cut closer to core classroom budgets.

While school officials said the money was restored in meetings that were scheduled even before the first wave of budgets sent shock waves through the community, parents are likely happy to hear the news.

As previously reported by Patch, even before the district's finance team presented its preliminary budget to the board, Southwest Minneapolis parents began ringing alarm bells.

Burroughs Community School PTA president Melissa Panszi Riebe sent out a letter to parents stating the school was slated to lose significant funding under the proposal.

"The Minneapolis School District has just provided us with next year’s (preliminary) budget that has significant and catastrophic cuts that will effect not only the quality of our children’s education, but also their safety and well-being," she wrote.

In addition, the Armatage Montessori PTA posted a long letter enumerating their concerns on its Facebook page:

"The proposed budget for Armatage is $180,379.00 less than last year. This will have a critical effect on our current educational programs/staffing," it said, in part. "We believe (the school board) can do better and we are going to ask for some clarity and action on behalf of our children."

Regardless of the $2 million that was restored to southwest area schools, the district still faces a $25 million shorfall.

The Star Tribune wrote:

K-5 elementary schools districtwide can expect nearly $1.9 million less next school year than they’re currently budgeted. K-8 schools, including those split between two campuses, are down more than $1.3 million, while middle schools are down $776,000. High schools take the biggest hit with a loss of $4.2 million, and Edison is sustaining $1.9 million of that.

The board won't vote on the final budget proposal until June. Principals were required to submit their budgets by March 29 so the district could tweak the final proposal. Southwest Minneapolis Patch will update readers as more information becomes available.

Resources:

  • Where Does Minneapolis Get its Public School Funds?
  • Resource: Understanding Property Tax Levies
  • Resource: What is a District's 'General Fund' Balance?
  • Resource: Minneapolis Schools Budget Challenges and Risks

Other related articles:

  • Why Is the School District Drastically Cutting Local School Budgets?
  • What Could Your School Lose?
  • Parents Ring Alarm Bells Over "Catastrophic" Schools Cuts

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