Amid Controversy and Deficit, Minneapolis Public Schools Prepares to Finalize Budget

Minneapolis Public Schools Photo: KSTP/File
Minneapolis Public Schools

April 26, 2018 12:24 PM

On Thursday night, Minneapolis Public Schools Superintendent Ed Graff will present his updated budget at a Finance Committee meeting.

Graff and his leadership team were forced to put together a new plan after the board directed him to make cuts without impacting middle and high school budgets. The district is staring down a projected $33 million deficit, with a deadline to finalize a budget by June 30.

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Graff's new plan proposes a nearly $6.4 million reduction to the district's Central Office budget. Cuts include technology replacements, research and evaluation support, athletics and more. Graff said the decisions were difficult, but they were made with a commitment to equity.

RELATED: Minneapolis School District Ready to Talk Budget With Community

Black Advocates for Education disagrees. At a press conference Wednesday, the coalition criticized the proposed budget cuts, alleging they favor white, affluent families instead of Minneapolis's northside families.

"It makes absolutely no sense that black and brown children are falling through the cracks within the school system," Nekima Levy-Pounds said. "Yet we have board members who are voting against these children, when they focus on the needs and interests of white, affluent families from Southwest Minneapolis."

Pounds and the rest of Black Advocates for Education insist the proposed cuts to discipline policy staff and the elimination of the Office of Innovation would hurt support systems for the district's students of color.

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Tyler Berg

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