Searching for an umbrellaMark Porter sees dark clouds on the horizon for District 833.
Mark Porter sees dark clouds on the horizon for District 833.
In the district’s latest newsletter, the superintendent lays out how 833 – and the rest of Minnesota’s school districts – are in line for another round of flat education funding from the Legislature.
“As we prepare for the 2011-12 school year there are, however, some ‘dark clouds’ on the horizon,” Porter says in the newsletter.
To keep the district on solid financial ground, the School Board has more difficult decisions ahead. Porter calls them budget “adjustments.” Educators, parents and students know them by another name: cuts.
According to Porter’s numbers, those cuts add up to about $5.5 million for next school year and another $5 million the following year.
That’s not a pretty picture. The problem is simple: state funding – which accounts for about 80 percent of the district’s revenue – has not kept up with the rate of inflation.
School districts are left with two uncomfortable options: turning to local taxpayers to stem the tide through levy referendums, and making cuts.
Porter says the solution to the upcoming budget dilemma will include at least one of three options: budget cuts, reauthorization of two operating levies in 2013 and 2014 or requesting voters approve additional funding either this year or next.
Again, not a pretty picture. But it’s a reality we all must face head-on.
We echo Porter’s call to reach out to local lawmakers to find a solution for this ongoing education headache. Solutions are out there. Legislators and Gov. Mark Dayton owe it to Minnesota’s children to find one before those dark clouds start pouring.