Minneapolis Schools Shorten School Year, Considering Referendum

January 10, 2018 06:09 AM

The Minneapolis School Board voted unanimously Tuesday night to shorten the current school year by two days.

School will now end on Friday, June 8 instead of the originally scheduled Tuesday, June 12.


The school board made the decision in response to a survey of parents.

"When we gathered the responses we saw an indication from parents that they would like to shorten the school year by those two days, because the school year tended to be too long," Minneapolis Schools Chief Financial Officer Ibrahima Diop said.

Minneapolis already had the longest school year of any metro-area school district. At 176 days, it was 11 days longer than the state minimum. However, the longer school year hadn't resulted in better academic achievement as the district hoped it would.

The shorter school year won't save the district money this year because teacher contracts are already locked in for the year. However, the school board could consider making shorter school years permanent in future years, which could save millions of dollars after new contract negotiations.

The district is already trying to figure out how to erase a projected $33 million deficit.

Also Tuesday, the school board said it would vote in February whether to ask voters to approve $30 million dollars worth of funding in a referendum. The money would be used for operating expenses and capital improvements starting in the 2019-2020 school year.

Minneapolis School Superintendent Ed Graff said if voters approve the funding it could help end a recent cycle of budget deficits as enrollment declines.

"This resolution represents one phase of what we're calling a multi-phased approach to move Minneapolis Public Schools to a sustainable and structurally-balanced budget for the 2019-2020 school year," Graff said.


Tom Hauser

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