School district open house gives public opportunity to view 2017/18 budget

Frederick Owens
June 22, 2017

The board's budget also requires officials to take roughly $2 million from the division's reserves, leaving about $12 million in the fund.

After six months of discussion, The Duluth School Board approved the 2018 fiscal year budget during Tuesday's school board meeting.

In light of that fact, the district is cutting close to 30 positions.

The Hazelwood School District has been dealing with budget issues for the for several years. In hopes of not overhiring for next school year, the district used the summer break to estimate how many vacancies can go unfilled.

The district has a current budget deficit of $1.9 million, some of that is due to unplanned spending towards rubber mulch replacement at school playgrounds and repairing the now vacant Rockridge Elementary building.

Among the new additions, there will be an Autism Support program introduced at Ernest Lindner School and a Functional Life Skills program will open at three of the four new schools set to open in September. Students will have to attend band or orchestra before school starts.

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Mckenzie did confirm the district is undergoing a state audit.

But the district has put off the day of reckoning too long.

The new fiscal year begins July 1. The debate over cuts should not be about eliminating those pet projects that have the weakest support, but about how the nation's eighth-largest school system can in the most efficient way provide all students with a 21st century education.

The administration is launching a new initiative in 2017-18 to bring the alternative education program in house.

The board passed its budget - which includes expenses of $259.4M, down $800,000 from previous year - at a meeting on Tuesday night.

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