Public invited to share Duluth school district budget ideasAs part of its pledge to be more open, the Duluth school district is holding three “public information meetings” next week, where people can speak on how they would prioritize the district’s needs for the next fiscal year.
By: Jana Hollingsworth, Duluth News Tribune
As part of its pledge to be more open, the Duluth school district is holding three “public information meetings” next week, where people can speak on how they would prioritize the district’s needs for the next fiscal year.
District officials also will have a presentation on school finance and the funding problems of the state, said Superintendent Bill Gronseth.
“It’s to give people enough information so they have an understanding of challenges we’re up against and which funds are restricted and unrestricted,” he said, “and to let people in on the conversation about why we’re having to make cuts. Hopefully, they will have some creative ways to address the deficit.”
The district must reduce its unrestricted general fund budget by $4.8 million. The budget this year is $82.8 million. Last year the School Board approved about $6 million in cuts to the budget, but added about $1 million back in when enrollment was higher than expected and more state per-pupil funding came through.
The meetings are Wednesday and Thursday.
The first meeting is at 5 p.m. Wednesday in the board room of Historic Old Central High School. The Thursday meetings are at 5 p.m. in the East High School Media Center, 301 N. 40th Ave. E., and at 7 p.m. in the Denfeld High School Media Center, 401 N. 44th Ave. W.
School district administrators have met with the district’s labor management groups and other staff members to gather ideas, and they have a list of possible cuts to present to School Board members during a Monday committee of the whole meeting. From there, ideas gathered from the public meetings will be considered, and another list will be submitted to the board for approval on March 8. The final budget for fiscal year 2013, which begins July 1, is approved in June.
The district also has placed links to budget information on the main page of its website: www.duluth.k12.mn.us.