Budget talks at 709

I posted this headline last night after our Business Committee. Then I left the post blank to sleep on it.

I’m quoted in today’s DNT news story about our budget planning. Frankly, Jana Hollingsworth, the Trib’s education reporter, has offered up a much better explanation about our budget than I would have.

This is ironic because Jana was home with an illness and missed the Business Committee meeting. I encouraged her to watch the four hour meeting on the Internet later that night. I also sent Jana the budget that was sent to the School Board in advance of the meeting for her to peruse before she wrote her story.

The news is grim. We anticipate deep cuts. There is good news. Our administration’s recommendations for next year’s budget bend over backwards to avoid making cuts to classrooms. Everything else is at great risk.

Reading Jana’s story I discovered something else that was not obvious to me during the meeting. The recommended budget suggests that we spend $150,000 more in Western Duluth to catch up with our spending in our eastern schools. Its not enough and we won’t be able to afford a seven-hour-day out west with all the cuts heading our way. None-the-less, its something.

We have another two months to determine the final budget and we are waiting to see what the state legislature and the Governor agree on. I’m not hopeful.