Shakopee Public Schools

At its April 13 meeting, the Shakopee School Board approved a stipend reduction for the district’s coaches and extracurricular advisers, and passed a plan to reduce the hours of employees working in community education and food service, should the schools continue to be closed after May 1.

The decision came after the district projects an $800,000 loss in discretionary revenue due to the closing of facilities and cancellation of activities amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

If a decision is made to resume schools, activities and community education, the board memo said it would then pay the affected staff members the agreed-upon amount or give them back their hours. Staff members whose hours are being affected will still receive district benefits like health insurance. 

“The plan is a response in recognition of the fact current State funding does not include any money to cover revenue shortfalls in fee-based programs. The hard reality is we do not have the fee-based revenue stream coming into the district to pay for programs that are not in full operation,” the district’s memo said. 

“It’s very obvious how much the community supports the coaches and advisers, and I think most of us grown adults can think back to an adviser or coach that was very important to us,” Vice Chair Judi Tomczik said. “But we just can’t spend money we don’t have.”

For the employees who may receive hour reductions, the district said the human resources department will help them take advantage of state and federal unemployment benefits.

“And in total transparency, these are the situations where if we had a greater fund balance, we’d have different options,” Superintendent Mike Redmond said. “I think in light of the financial challenges, I don’t think we're in a position where our fund balance can absorb the entire 800,000 in lost fees.”

Maddie DeBilzan graduated with a journalism degree from Bethel University. She’s interned at Salon Media and the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Outside of work, she sifts through Goodwill clothing racks, listens to Ben Rector's music and goes on long runs.

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