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Budget Planning for the Upcoming School Year

Budget Planning for the Upcoming School Year
Even in the midst of a pandemic, the day-to-day business of a school district continues. This week MPS schools and departments received their budgets for the coming school year. A school district’s budget is a reflection of its values. For MPS, that means a focus on the well-rounded education for which the Comprehensive District Design was created. Staff and families will see investments in Career and Technical Education, world languages, advanced academics, middle school music and programming at both community and magnet schools. Families can also look for a new science curriculum, more bus aides, additional literacy interventions, student access to technology and ongoing health and safety improvements, to name just a few.

Those investments are balanced by reductions that come largely as a result of projected enrollment declines in our schools. The projected loss of some 1,300 students for the next school year would mean the need for fewer teachers. And, because many long-time teachers took advantage of early retirement programs, MPS salary costs also are reduced. Other reductions are the result of external and sometimes political decisions – such as fewer English Learner students due to stricter immigration policies, and fewer families reporting the need for educational benefits.

MPS is able to offset some of those budget reductions with dollars from the federal government designed to cover expenses related to COVID, as well as savings from distance learning and telework for much of the school year. Additionally, MPS has successfully met Board of Education policy requiring that 8.1% of its operating budget be held in its Unassigned Fund Balance for one-time emergency circumstances, a building block of a financially healthy school district.

There are many ways to learn about how Minneapolis Public Schools funds its schools and departments. Our best decisions are made with significant input from stakeholders. Please take the time to talk, listen, learn and ask questions.