Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) wants feedback on its budget for the 2018-19 school year. The third-largest school district in Minnesota faces a $33 million shortfall and asks the public for suggestions on where to make cuts.
Over the past two decades, MPS has drawn down its reserve funds from $122 million to $42 million to take care of underfunded special education and English language services; unfunded mandates; negotiated salary increases; irregular cuts in state funding; enrollment declines; student transportation; and inflation. If the district accesses its reserves again next year to balance the budget, it risks going into statutory operating debt.
Four priorities have been established for the district:
1. All recommendations, considerations and decisions must consider the impact on students.
2. Schools must have the staff they need to support their students.
3. MPS must provide – and provide well – basic core learning elements for all students.
4. Common community values must move the district forward.
To participate, go to http://www.mpls.k12.mn.us/mps_budget. On the right-hand side of the page is a short MPS values survey which asks the areas of most importance to you, and how you would allocate the budget.
You can also provide input in person. Readings of the proposed budget will be held at the regular school board meetings on Nov. 14 and Dec. 12 at 5:30 p.m. at the district offices at 1250 W. Broadway Ave. Budgets will be finalized in March.