Budget Cuts and Borrowing: Comparing District 112 to other districts

The Association of Metropolitan School Districts, a group of 42 metro-area school districts released the results of its annual budget survey yesterday.  As the Eastern Carver County School District (District 112) is part of this group, let’s look at how the District’s actions compare to metro-area neighbors.

The numbers in the survey clearly show the challenges local school districts are facing, given the difficult economy and the ongoing shifts of school funding taking place at the state legislature.

Of the 36 K-12 school districts included in the organization’s membership, 31 districts either made budget cuts and/or depleted reserve funds in their 2011-12 budgets.  17 districts (including District 112) did both — reduced reserves and made budget cuts.

Across these 36 districts, budget cuts totaled $59.9 million dollars, while reserves were depleted by an additional $56.3 million dollars.

District 112’s $2.4 million in budget cuts were the 9th largest total out of the AMSD districts on a total dollars basis (11th largest on a per-pupil basis).

Across the 36 districts, the budget cuts resulted in a loss of 590 full-time equivalent employees (includes teachers, administration and other non-licensed staff).  District 112’s reduction of 30.1 FTEs was the 6th largest reduction in total headcount (7th largest on a per-pupil basis).

The funding shift passed by the legislature is also creating significant cash flow problems for local school districts, many of whom will have to borrow in order to have funds to pay their bills this year.  26 of the 36 districts in AMSD will be borrowing money this year — a total of $377 million dollars including financing costs.  District 112’s projected borrowing of $6.05 million is the 19th largest (23rd largest on a per pupil basis).

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4 Responses to “Budget Cuts and Borrowing: Comparing District 112 to other districts”

  1. The MN legislature has delivered us a new projected surplus, which will be able to pick up the shift if it holds up. Watch how government spending reforms will put this state back in the black, as it is projected to already. Although I do have to admit, I don’t usually put much stock in these revenue projections. The greatest effect we can have on revenue is a growing economy, which our current national leadership seems incapable of delivering.

    • When I look at the causes for the projected surplus, I don’t see a whole lot there that was caused by the current Legislature. Two-thirds of the $876 million surplus is an increased carry-over from the previous budget cycle, which was based on the budget agreement between the Republican governor and the Democratic legislature. About half of the $308 million in health and human services cost savings projected in the 2012-13 period is the result of Governor Dayton’s decision to opt-in early to the federal expansion of Medicaid.

      Revenue growth in 2012-13 is projected in the corporate income tax — $150 million –which Republicans (including our delegation here in Carver County) wanted to cut. Meanwhile, the rest of tax revenues based on economic performance are projected to have mixed results. Sales tax revenues are projected to be $105 million less than the last forecast, for instance.

      And regardless, no one in St. Paul — in either party — should be slapping themselves on the back when we’re still facing a $1.3 billion deficit in 2014-15, have borrowed over $2 billion from local school districts and leveraged our future tobacco settlement revenue to get to the current point.

      [EDITED to fix typos.]

  2. One has to wonder if that forecasted deficit is the same one that missed the mark on this now projected surplus. These projections are never accurate. They predcited a huge deficit before, that turned up as a surplus as well. If we put in the remaining spending reforms, there’s a good chance we won’t have any deficit, even in 2014-2015. The answer to these problems cannot be solved by raising taxes. Growing government is not the answer, it’s the problem.

  3. One does wonder about these approaches to budgeting, especially when education spending is cut when a surplus appears. Justifying a reform which degrades our ability to provide quality a education, which has a big impact on business and government, is the problem.

    It is like the Walmart Advertisement, “Cutting prices everyday” sooner or later all the products will be free. Not. Your rhetoric of growing government is akin to cutting government until there is no government at all. So would that also mean no education? Your logic and rhetoric is flawed and out dated. Americans are pragmatic about their lives and utilize the resources of intellectual freedom to solve their problems. Not follow a shared group dogma of the right wing.

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