Local Schools Facing Budget Issues

Local Schools Facing Budget Issues

ImageThe Saint Peter School Board discussed the shortfall in the adopted fiscal year 2024 Independent School District 508 adopted budget and how the board will move forward at its March 18 regular meeting.

Districts Cite Declining Enrollment Numbers, Staffing Costs and Inflation as Key Drivers of Budget Shortfalls

By Robert Lawson

Many Minnesota school districts are now facing unexpected and in some cases major budget cuts. Their deficits appear higher than normal, some by millions of dollars. This comes even as districts make cuts in their budgets.

Districts like ISD #508 in Saint Peter, will consult with staff on the cuts. Superintendents at both Saint Peter and Le Sueur districts said they’re also falling far shorter than anticipated.

Experts and school professionals say inflation is the major driver of the budget shortfalls. That is also combined with increases in staff contract negotiated rates and declining enrollment numbers. Superintendent Bill Gronseth said numbers of students are currently down in the Saint Peter district.

“This week, I have some large blocks of time set aside with principals and the admin team to start making plans for how we address the deficits that you see in 2024,” Gronseth said.

Saint Peter came into the year at $3.3 million for the unassigned......

Continued on Page 5 of the Nicollet County Ledger March 24, 2024 edition. 

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