Burnsville-Eagan Savage School Board puts possible cuts on the table
Modified calendar still possible in 2013-14
Fresh off one round of budget cuts, the District 191 School Board wants to minimize surprises before it cuts the budget again next year.
The Burnsville-Eagan-Savage board voted unanimously June 7 to have Superintendent Randy Clegg prepare a recommendation for possible cuts that could take effect in 2013-14.
The board said the recommendation, due by Sept. 6, “should include, but not be limited to:”
• Closing an elementary school.
• Closing a junior high school.
• Closing the district office building, the Administrative Services Center.
• Consolidating use of district buildings and facilities.
• Changing the school calendar and/or school day.
• Reducing transportation services.
• Eliminating specific programs and/or services.
• Reducing the district’s “organizational and staffing structure.”
“The transparency, actually, I prefer,” Board Member Jim Schmid said. “This is now a matter of public record.”
Calendar modification remains on the table after the board rejected a shorter school calendar with longer school days as part of its 2012-13 budget cuts. Board members axed the administrative proposal to save $776,000 by cutting 17 school days after hearing strong objections from parents and teachers.
Board members approved a cut list in May that’s reflected in the budget up for approval on June 21. The budget calls for $110.9 million in general-fund spending, compared with an estimated $114 million without the cuts.
Citing stagnant state funding, growing costs and declining enrollment, the district is looking to save about $15 million over the next three years.
Recent months’ talk of closing a building has already attracted some interest from potential buyers or renters. The two buildings that have drawn attention are well located: the Administrative Services Center, just east of Interstate 35W in northern Burnsville, and Cedar School, just east of Cedar Avenue on Diffley Road in Eagan.
The board voted down June 7 an administration proposal to hire a broker to field queries about the administrative center. The district will continue to field the calls.