The St. Paul school board is preparing to adopt a $579 million budget next week that will make a long list of strategic investments while cutting dozens of classroom positions.
The district expects to lose 513 K-12 students compared with last year’s budget, continuing a several-year trend that’s coincided with the growth of competing charter schools.
With fewer students, the district plans to eliminate 27 jobs for teachers and 31 for educational and teaching assistants. However, there are 297 vacancies for those positions, so while some will have to change schools, no one should be out of a job.
A decrease in students signing up for free and reduced-price lunches will cost the district around $5.5 million in classroom funding tied to that number. Declining enrollment should cost another $6.9 million.
On the other hand, city voters approved a property tax increase in November that will boost revenues by around $17.3 million next year. Most of that new money will be consumed by inflationary cost increases and contractual obligations.
Still, there are several millions in new spending on the first year of Superintendent Joe Gothard’s strategic plan, including:
During a Tuesday evening meeting, school board members sounded satisfied with the general fund budget, which is $32 million larger than last school year’s. They’ll vote to adopt the plan June 18.