Since a 2014 report revealed the need to realign the budget, Robbinsdale Area Schools have known they face making some tough decisions. Superintendent Carlton Jenkins is adamant the budget won’t impact classroom size.
"We are being as strategic as we can," said Jenkins. “What we are doing is staying away from the classroom."
There are five factors driving realignment. Federal stimulus dollars will be discontinued, which means a loss of $1.2 million. Recalibration of anticipated state funding means the district could lose around $750,000. Enrollment changes and cost of living adjustments mean lost money as well. The long-term strategic investment decision to reopen Sandburg Middle School and Pilgrim Lane Elementary also comes with costs. All told, the district has to cut $4.2 million.
Jenkins says changes will come in places students and the public will not notice. Those changes include areas like business services, tech support, tuition billing and facility management. Some administrative or support staff may be eliminated.
"This is a short-term, long-term decision when we do budgets," says Jenkins. "We are just trying to make us tighter now and prepare us for what we are trying to do in the future with students."
The Robbinsdale School Board does not vote on the final budget until June.
Shannon Slatton, email@example.com
on Twitter: @sslatton