Rochester School Board Facing Unexpected Need for Spending Cuts
Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - The Rochester School Board is being that it will need to approve some budget cuts later this year. The school board was presented Tuesday night with an updated General Fund Financial Forecast that reflects some negative developments since the board was briefed on the school district’s 5-year financial outlook in December.
Since then, the school district has learned the Minnesota Department of Education is $32 million short of the amount of money needed to fully fund the state’s per-pupil funding to school districts and it anticipates lowering the amount of funding appropriated to individual districts by 4-percent. For the Rochester School District, that works out to about $394,000. School officials note there is a small chance the state legislature could address the problem.
The other funding issue is a result of a state law that requires the Rochester Public School system, because it is designated as the home school district for students choosing to attend the local charter schools, be responsible for funding unreimbursed special education costs incurred by the charter schools out of its special education aid. The district was notified recently that two local charter schools reported an additional $437,000 in special education costs that became the responsibility of the Rochester Public Schools through no fault of its own.
The unanticipated drop in revenues has the district staff recommending the School Board cut general fund spending for the 2018-2019 school year by $2 million. Staff notes a cut of at least $1 million would be needed to maintain the district's reserves at 6-percent, which has long been the school district’s policy.
Check out Report Projects Stable School Finances.
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