First, I want to share with you a simple reality: for the past five years, MPS has routinely spent significantly more money than it has – resulting in mid-year budget shortfalls that jeopardize the stability of our schools and their management. You may recall seeing the audit of last year’s finances which found a $21 million shortfall mid-way through last year. Unfortunately, this wasn’t an isolated incident. During each of the past five years, auditors uncovered similar mid-year shortfalls totaling anywhere from approximately $326,000 to $38 million.
So what does this mean for the coming year?
My plan to address next year’s shortfall includes taking the following steps:
Second, in order to get to the larger goal of a structurally balanced budget by the 2019-2020 school year, I am eager to engage in dialogue about what it means to be educated in the Minneapolis Public Schools – and how we can innovate to deliver services differently and drive improved outcomes.
I want to assure you that, in spite of these budget challenges, we will continue to prioritize the kinds of investments that will lead to our district’s continued success. We will invest in our values, putting Minneapolis Public Schools on a strong financial foundation while driving improved outcomes for all of our students.