By Amanda McKnight
Up to 85 jobs at Shakopee Public Schools, including 47 classroom teaching positions, could be eliminated permanently or go unfilled ahead of the 2021-22 school year as part of $7 million in proposed budget cuts needed to correct the district’s financial course.
Shakopee School Board members met Monday evening to learn more about the proposed cuts, which they have not formally approved yet. According to school administrators, about $5.4 million of the cuts are contingent upon whether the school board asks taxpayers for more funding in an operating levy — and whether that levy gets approved. The other $1.6 million in cuts, if approved by the board, will happen whether or not a levy is approved.
The school board is scheduled to learn more about their options related to operating levies, and the amount they might ask from voters, at a meeting July 11.
Board member Paul Christiansen said Monday he is apprehensive to put an operating levy on the ballot because so many people are struggling financially from the ripple effects of the pandemic. Board member Matt McKeand countered that allowing taxpayers to vote for or against a levy gives people a say in the decision. Without putting it on the ballot, board members would be unilaterally choosing to make $5.4 million in cuts without asking community members what they want, he said.
Along with the long-range cuts in 2021-22, the board is looking at $450,000 in proposed cuts next school year. There are no classroom teachers included in next year’s cuts, but there are nine full-time equivalent positions that would be eliminated.
Below is a comprehensive list of the proposed cuts, as provided in Monday’s school board agenda packet. To download the PDF, click here.Proposed_Budget_Cuts