Minneapolis Public Schools Approves $33M Budget

June 13, 2018 02:58 PM

Minneapolis Public Schools has closed a $33 million budget gap with a vote Tuesday night.

Months of controversial discussion culminated in the decision, which comes with big cuts including to teacher and staff positions.

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District officials said for the first time in a decade, they have a balanced budget that doesn't rely on reserve funds and the Minneapolis Board of Education approved it 8-1. The opposing member said it's not equitable and doesn't do enough for special education.

RELATED: Minneapolis School Board Passes Budget

The budget eliminates 300 full-time positions, which district officials said is about 5 percent of the district's overall staff. Officials said 165 teaching positions will be cut.

Before the vote Tuesday night, families voiced frustration with a recent change to the budget. The board approved putting roughly $6 million back into certain middle and high schools and some raised concerns students of color are being left out.

"I want you to go home tonight and look in the mirror and ask of yourself what you can do better," parent Bill English said to the board.

RELATED: Parents, Students Raise Concerns Over Minneapolis School Budget 

Others view the implementation of the approved budget as a way to continue developing better processes.

"No budget is perfect but certainly I see that we can move forward and give the support that our superintendent deserves," Siad Ali, vice chair of the board, said.

The board has also asked for voters' help in November. Two referendum questions will be on the ballot. The first asks voters to increase the existing operating levy to the state-allowed maximum. The second would allow the district to shift millions in technology expenses away from the general fund. District officials said that's in an effort to increase operating revenue by $30 million.

The board unanimously approved placing the questions on the ballot.

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