St. Paul Public Schools plans $1 billion 2024 budget

St. Paul Public Schools officials are planning on a budget of over $1 billion for 2024.

This year’s proposed budget is a $118 million increase over last year’s budget. Funding from the state makes up $52 million of that increase.

SPPS Superintendent Joe Gothard told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS that the district’s expenses exceed the money coming in due to declining enrollment, expiring federal pandemic relief grants, increased transportation costs, teacher retention and building improvements.

The proposed budget is even larger than the city of St. Paul’s budget for 2023 — $781 million.

Even with the expanded budget, Gothard said the district will still have to make tough decisions in the year ahead — especially in areas where the limited federal money was spent.

“What that might mean is there are people or services that were paid for or provided for during this time that will have to go away and that is inevitable. So again, that will be a very difficult but necessary thing to for us to communicate in a very transparent way moving forward,” he said.

As for declining enrollment, which affects the state funding awarded to districts, Gothard said families may be making decisions to unenroll students based on school performance and safety — issues he says the district is working to improve.