Osseo Area School District Talks Deep Budget Cuts
One of the state's largest school districts met Tuesday night to discuss some deep budget cuts. Osseo area schools needs to reduce the budget by 11 million dollars over the next two years.
And while these proposed cuts haven't been finalized yet -- they have many parents in Maple Grove, Osseo, Plymouth, Brooklyn Center and Brooklyn Park, concerned.
20,500 students attend Osseo area schools - including two little ones, belonging to parent Jennifer Brandt.
Brandt has heard the talk of budget cuts, and doesn't like it.
She said, “I'm concerned a lot about class size, and what that is and what that will do for the needs of various student-learners. Not only my own, but those on the high end, those on the low end, and those that kind of get lost in the middle."
The district says it needs to cut 11 million dollars over the next two years.
It is a four-step process that will allow for some flexibility on the way, but ultimately the district believes that it will need to reduce staff, some academic and extracurricular programs, and services.
We spoke to Assistant Superintendent Kim Reisgraf at the State Capitol in St. Paul Tuesday. She was there, in part, to try and make the case for more education funding.
Reisgraf told us, “Yes it will effect kids, because it is academic coaches, things like destination imagination, some mock trial, those academic kinds of things, activities, your athletics, co-circulars."
The deepest of the proposed cuts could come in the 2014-2015 school year.
Reisgraf says they are considering eliminating up to 70 teaching positions.
“That's if there's no new revenue, from the state or our local taxpayers, then we are going to get there," she remarked.
In November, the district tried and failed to pass a property tax increase -- the school board will discuss if they'll try to bring it to voters again.
Parent Jennifer Brandt says she'd help pass it, “Absolutely, absolutely."
Tuesday night’s school board work session was to focus on the cuts on the table, and the possibility of trying to pass a property tax increase again. They will mainly focus on cuts to the 2013-2014 budget. The board will make a final decision on the cuts in early March.
It will be another year before a decision comes on proposed cuts for the 2014-2015 school year.