The Minneapolis Board of Education passed a balanced budget for fiscal year 2024 on Tuesday but faces tougher financial decisions in years to come, district officials have predicted.
Decreasing revenue from declining student enrollment and increasing expenditures from lower student-teacher ratios and higher per-student spending have contributed to an "imminent fiscal crisis," according to a board presentation last November.
That presentation said the largest contributor to declining revenues is due to fewer children living in the city. Traditional public school enrollment fell by 6 percentage points between FY 2018 and FY 2022. Enrollment projections show the district will have around 23,000 students in FY 2028, down from about 35,000 in FY 2018.
At the same time, the district faces increasing costs from inflation, as well as higher per-pupil spending compared to other large districts in Minnesota.
If the budget situation continues apace as federal COVID-19 emergency funding runs out, the district may see a general fund deficit starting in FY 2025, according to the presentation.
The FY 2024 $755 million approved operating budget includes $29 million for intervention teams to address learning loss, $1.5 million for services to advanced learners, a part time library media specialist at each school, plus other expenses.
In a memo to the board dated June 13, Interim Superintendent Rochelle Cox said the board will need to decide in late summer or early fall how to allocate new state legislative funding, estimated at around $35 million.