Budget cuts mean more school job losses – this time in St. Paul

The district had been facing a $17.2 million budget shortfall.
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A week after Minneapolis Public Schools announced budget cuts that would reduce teaching and support staff roles, St. Paul Public Schools did the same.

The school board on Tuesday evening approved a new budget for 2018-19 that features cuts to help it shrink a $17.2 million budget deficit.

It comes after what the district says has been 15 years of below-inflation funding at the state level, which plateaued particularly between 2003 and 2005 and 2009 and 2011.

There is also expected to be a drop in enrollment for the upcoming year, which also affects school funding.

The cuts at Minnesota's second largest school district will result in the loss of 100 positions, some of which will be fulfilled via retirements, while some will require workers to shift to different schools.

It includes 67 full-time equivalent positions in schools and 40 more in district, support staff and administration roles, the Pioneer Press reports.

The newspaper notes that the district is increasing spending in some areas, including providing more teachers for special education and English language learners.

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It comes just a week after Minneapolis Public Schools – the state's third largest district – confirmed it would be making cuts resulting in the loss of 300 roles.

The district was facing a $33 million budget shortfall for the upcoming year.

It will be seeking more money from local taxpayers through a proposed levy, which will be the subject of a referendum question this coming November. St. Paul will do the same.

Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton had campaigned late in the last legislative session for more school funding, trying to persuade GOP leaders to divert money from some tax cuts to plug a $139 million combined shortfall facing dozens of school districts.

His efforts were unsuccessful however, leaving districts to make tough decisions for next year's budget.

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