Mankato School Board approves $7.5 million in budget cuts

Mankato School Board approves $7.5 million in budget cuts

MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) — The Mankato School Board approved $7.5 million in budget cuts to offset the projected deficit next school year.

In an effort to break even,100 staff positions will be cut from the district.

The Mankato School Board unanimously approved the budget reduction on Monday.

This comes after a loss of revenue after COVID-19 prompted about 350 students to choose not to enroll with the district.

“For school districts, as enrollment increases, you typically increase staffing; as it decreases, you decrease staffing, and that’s part of the circumstance we are in,” explained Tom Sager, director of business services at Mankato Area Public Schools.

With the majority of the district’s expenses lying in staff salaries and benefits, about 100 full-time positions are being eliminated. Those include 32 teachers from general education classrooms, 13 from elementary schools, nine from middle schools and 10 from high schools.

“There were also some instructional and pupil support services where we had people serving as mentors or intervention teachers. We also have other areas like support staff, in terms of supervision, student success, coaches, paraprofessionals and things like that, as well as custodial. So it really impacted our entire operation,” said Sager.

Budget projections are based on the assumptions that there may not be an increase in students returning to the district or further COVID-19 relief funding from the state.

The school board will adopt a final budget in June.

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