Eastern Carver County Schools was forced to cut more than 31 full-time equivalent teaching positions during the 2020-21 budget process, $6 million in total, for what the district says is a result of the 2019 failed referendum.
The second-year cycle, while still impactful in its cuts, a total of $3,102,048, will see less impact on instruction.
A negotiated pay freeze will save District 112 roughly $1.4 million, but cuts remain, with the loss of a combined 1.20 FTE in foreign language and music in elementary and high school levels, and 4.28 FTE positions at middle schools with the move to a six-period day.
A year ago, District 112 announced the reduction of 11.95 FTE positions at the high school with a change to six-period days, the loss of 9.54 FTE at middle schools and decreasing 10.65 FTE at the elementary level with larger class sizes.
"We engaged the community. We worked with principals to develop ideas. We are following what we did two years ago," Director of Finance and Operations DeeDee Kahring said at the April 12 school board workshop.
Other cuts for 2021-22 include a negotiated pay freeze for instructional support staff and special education staff and the loss of 2.14 FTE paraprofessional positions. Additionally, athletic and activity fees will increase, and facility rental of district-owned property will go up in price as well.
In-sourcing of some of the transportation operation will save the district roughly $200,000.
One area that won't see any cuts this year is administration. Board member Tim Klein expressed that while on paper it's a tough look, he drew upon past year cuts to show the whole story.
Of budget cuts from 2003 to 2022, nearly 15% has come from administration. Compare that to total percent of the budget, less than 9%, and Kahring said cuts to administration by ratio lead the way.
Administration cuts of nearly $340,000 were made in the current year's budget, including a pay freeze, and the reallocation of .50 FTE around in the district.
Kahring said the School Board will be asked to adopt the budget cuts at an April 26 meeting.
It was a busy workshop for Kahring and Pam Jensen, Finance and Human Resources manager. Jensen also presented capital-related projects for 2021-22, though no large bidding processes are needed.
Deferred long-term facility maintenance projects, funded by state aid and levy, include:
- Replacing heating system at Family Learning Center, a boiler at Chanhassen Elementary, a chiller at Victoria Elementary, and multiple chillers at Chaska High School.
- Roof replacement at Chaska Middle School East.
- Resurfacing tennis courts at Chaska High School, Pioneer Ridge Middle School and Chaska Middle School West.
- Plumbing repairs at Chanhassen Elementary and other district-wide properties.
Revenue exists to fund the requirements for deferred maintenance to prevent further erosion of facilities, accessibility improvements or to make fire, safety or health repairs to district facilities.
The deferred maintenance revenue for next year totals $4.8 million, while health and safety revenue to fund projects for next year is $708,200.
Additionally, the capital projects levy funds, which supports security and technology for buildings, classrooms and learning at all schools in the district — a levy funded by taxpayers in the fall of 2019 — will be spent on technology tools, devices and security improvements throughout the district.