Minneapolis School Board Passes Budget

June 12, 2018 10:33 PM

Minneapolis public schools just closed a $33 million dollar budget gap.

However, it's coming with some painful cuts, including teachers' jobs.

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On Tuesday night, the Minneapolis Board of Education approved the budget for the next school year. The budget passed during an 8 to 1 vote.

Overall, district officials say 300 full-time equivalent positions will be cut, equaling 4.75 percent of the district's total staff.
Of those, 165 are teacher positions lost due to cuts.

RELATED: Parents, Students Raise Concerns Over Minneapolis School Budget 

Some school board members acknowledged this budget is not ideal but on Tuesday night. However, some said finding another option could possibly cause even more distrust among the community.

"It's one of those things where you just have to grin and bear it, so I do support the budget," Board Director Ira Jourdain said.

While the budget closes the $33 million gap, many parents are still unhappy.

"This room gets crowded with white people from southwest and you tremble like a dog crapping razor blades," parent Bill English said to the board ahead of the final budget vote.

He joins a group of angry families upset after district leaders went back to the table to put $6 million of potential cuts to schools back into middle and high schools like Washburn High in south Minneapolis.

That money was reallocated from the central office to help those schools continue to operate through this deficit, but it also left families at other schools feeling abandoned and neglected.

"I want you to go home tonight and look in the mirror and ask yourself what should you have done better," English said to the board.

RELATED: School Lets Out as Minneapolis Public School Administrators Prepare for Budget Cuts 

"It really does bother me that this might be a budget where southwest families win again," said student representative Ben Jaeger.
Director KerryJo Felder was the only board member who voted against it.  

"The lightweight band aids that are made on the schools are not great," she said.

Felder specifically raised issue with the resources set aside for special behavioral schools like Harrison Education Center, where teaching assistant Mohammed Dukuly was recently hospitalized after a student attack.

"Last year I had asked for another school resource officer to be placed so that Harrison and River Bend did not have to share a School Resource Officer," she said. "Then we had things that happened."

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