St. Peter schools looking at cuts to overcome $1.5 million shortfall
ST. PETER, Minn. (KEYC) - At a school board meeting at the end of February, the St Peter school district announced a plan to cut its school budget by about $1.5 million.
“Like many school districts across the state and across the country, we are facing a deficit,” said superintendent Bill Gronseth.
The district says the deficit comes from three major sources: a continued decrease in student enrollment over the past few years, an end to state and federal government funds for Covid-19 relief, and the impact of inflation on daily expenses for the classroom.
“It all costs more than it used to. And we have a fiduciary responsibility to live within our means. So, we are looking at all of our sites and programs to find the decisions that continue to provide an excellent education for our students, and at the same time, live within our means,” said Gronseth.
Since 80% of school budgets are based on staffing, the St. Peter district says one cut is for certain:
“It will be unavoidable not to have staff reductions. We will have a reduction of staff. But we’re also looking at efficiencies with in transportation within technology within our systems to try to keep those cuts as far away from the classroom as we can.”
The district’s budget plan is based on student enrollment and assumptions of funding from the Minnesota legislature- which won’t be finalized until the end of the session.
“We’re having a lot of conversations with our administrators and our staff members and trying to find ways that align with our priorities as a school district, while, at the same time, living within our means,” Gronseth added.
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