Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191 Board of Education members discussed an initial list of potential budget adjustments for the 2019-20 school year at a work session on Jan. 24. Because of lagging state aid, underfunding for special services and declining enrollment, the district is facing a more than $7 million shortfall for next school year.
The list of adjustments is considered a working document, brought to the board for discussion and direction. Changes may be made prior to the first public presentation of adjustments at the Feb. 7 School Board meeting.
Superintendent Cindy Amoroso said the process to develop the proposed adjustments has been comprehensive and ongoing, including input from school and district leaders, staff members, and the public.
“We are focused on keeping what’s essential to Vision One91 and continuing the opportunities and supports that help our students become future ready and community strong,” Amoroso said. “But these adjustments will be painful. No one wants to see these happen. Something needs to change so that schools don’t have to make these kinds of decisions.”
Lisa Rider, director of business services, noted that state aid is almost $600 less per student than it would be if it had increased with inflation. That would mean about $5 million more in revenue for District 191.
In addition, both the federal government and state government have underfunded special education programming for many years. These services, which are mandated by law, are essential for supporting the individual needs of students. But in 2017-18, District 191 received about $12.7 million less in funding than we spend to provide those services.
Amoroso said that the district does need to make long-term facility plans to determine the viability of keeping all current schools open. No schools would be closed next year under the proposed adjustments, Amoroso said, but a facilities study is planned for this spring and summer so a decision can be made for the 2020-21 school year.
Proposed adjustments will be presented at the Feb. 7 school board meeting, scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at Diamondhead Education Center, 200 W. Burnsville Pkwy.
A public forum, where community members can provide feedback, will take place Feb. 13 at 7 p.m. at Diamondhead. Please consult our website, or call the District Office for specific information on the public forum protocols.
For a full timeline and more budget information, go to www.isd191.org/budget.