Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Nicking the Bone

Due to failed levy's, the voters get what they asked for:
the Osseo school board on Tuesday night passed a controversial plan to cut $16.3 million from its budget for next year.
What made it to the chopping block:

** Close Osseo elementary school
** Close Edgewood elementary school
** Turn Weaver Lake Elementary into the new home of the science and math magnet school now housed at Edgewood
88 Combine programs from Cedar Island, Fair Oaks and Oakview elementary schools, creating two prekindergarten-through-third-grade programs and one serving fourth to sixth grades.
** layoffs of as many as 166 licensed teachers, several administrators and nonlicensed staff and specialists.
"Nothing's being left untouched," said board member John Nelson. "No cuts are good ones. It's just a matter of, you've got to make a judgment of, what do you do?"

** snip **

Rice Lake Elementary parent Rachel Laurie said the school-closure controversy has gotten more attention than the question of how many teachers the district will lose, and how those losses will affect class sizes, because it feels less immediate to many.
This is what happens in no new tax environments, especially when the state transfers the burden on to municipalities and there isn't much left for school. I am not sure how much this pinches my good friend "The Doctor's" youngest, his only remaining school aged child. He may have more to add.

This is nothing, however, compared to what Brooklyn Center School district is going through. A debt so big merging isn't an option. Yet kids to educate with no money left.
Brooklyn Center is in statutory operating debt, which is the state designation for being in the red to the tune of at least 2.5 percent of its operating budget. In real terms, Brooklyn Center, which has a budget of $19 million, is $2.1 million in the hole.

To top off the budget difficulties, the district failed in its efforts in November to get voters to approve a 10-year, $500,000-a-year funding request.
I'm all for trimming fat and stopping pork, but it is clear within some of theses districts that we are bone scraping. Not quite the Minnesota I am used to.


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