27 June 2007

Getting Cold in Minneapolis

Better throw another pack of $100's on the fire.
The Minneapolis school board voted Tuesday night to adopt a $652 million budget for next school year that officials said better reflects the academic priorities of the district. That budget is up 2.4 percent, despite the expectation that 1,600 fewer students will enroll in district schools next fall, requiring 63 fewer teachers. In part that increase reflects the approval by the Legislature of $16 million more than the amount of state aid anticipated when the budget was drafted.
So let's review - less students, therefore less teachers, yet the total budget is up becuase the school district made off with dumptrucks full of state money they never expected.

The district faced a $16 million gap between projected spending and expenses when budget discussions began in January. It dipped into reserves for half of that and made operating cuts for the balance.
So the school district had - what - $8 million just taking up space? Why do taxpayers pay for special levies to maintain a rainy-day fund?
The school board recently was told by finance chief Peggy Ingison that it ended the 2005-2006 school year with a $30 million available fund balance. That's the best since at least the mid-1990s.
"Available fund balance." What these people won't do to avoid the word "suplus." Minneapolis - they got it goin' on!

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