From the Superintendent: It's a critical time for school districts, including SPPS

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I hope you all had a relaxing spring break and find yourself rejuvenated for the final stretch of the school year. We have lots to do in the next 10 weeks, starting with some difficult decision-making.

Schools and departments received their budget worksheets this past Monday. These worksheets outline the dollars that each SPPS entity may spend for the 2015-2016 school year. The worksheets outline some hard realities.

SPPS is in the same situation facing many Minnesota school districts this year: our planned expenditures for next year are higher than our expected revenue. This is due to a variety of reasons including the fact that State funding hasn’t kept up with inflation over the past 20 years, fewer families are reporting a need for free and reduced lunch, and now Title I dollars from the federal government are being reduced. As I’ve written in two previous Bridges, Title I cuts could be even deeper if the proposed reauthorization of ESEA (the Elementary and Secondary Education Act) H.R.5 is passed. The bottom line is that we have to make some critical reductions in our expenditures in order to live within our means next year.

We are making every effort to minimize the impact on schools and classrooms. This means that department budgets will be reduced and some non-school administrative and support positions will be eliminated. These are incredibly difficult decisions. While every single employee is critical to our mission of providing a premier education for all, I have to prioritize staff that work in our schools. Maintaining the classroom experience for our students, as well as the efforts and infrastructure of Strong Schools, Strong Communities 2.0, must be our focus.

As we find ways to creatively meet our budget goals, let’s all work together to do what we do best - provide exceptional opportunities for our young people.

I am sincerely grateful for everything you do.

Your very proud superintendent,

Silva Signature

 

Valeria S. Silva