The Minneapolis Public Schools Board of Education met on May 28 for its monthly discussion meeting. The Committee of the Whole’s agenda included a district budget update, information about revised graduation rates for the 2023-24 school year, progress towards meeting the strategic plan goals and speakers from the district’s high school students leadership board. Directors Sharon El-Amin and Adrianna Cerrillo were absent from the meeting.

Budget Update

The school board reviewed a revised budget proposal for the 2024-25 school year, which includes the cost of new collective bargaining agreements with the district’s teachers and education support professionals.

The budget was updated to restore funding for fifth grade instrumental music, and funding for three of the eight elementary school assistant principal positions eliminated as part of the March budget proposal. The restored funding came at the direction of the school board.

The operating budget for next year will be $772.7 million. The revised 2024-25 budget increases expenditures by $34 million compared to the budget proposed in March.

The district is assuming $9.3 million in new revenue since its March budget proposal. The central office will cut $1.7 million in additional contracted services and eliminate 23.5 additional positions, including 20 school custodians. The district is also cutting funding for Career and Technical Education programs by $750,000.

To close the gap between expenditures and revenue, the district will use $63.1 million from its assigned general fund balance, $8.1 million more than it proposed in March. The district will also use $3 million from its community service fund balance. An additional $6.6 million will come from special education aid the district received this year but did not spend.

The district assumes 4.8% of its positions will be unfilled next year, saving $23.8 million from its planned expenditures.

Revised Graduation Rate

At the meeting, the board heard an update about the graduation rate for the 2022-23 school year. The district reported that the four-year graduation rate was 73.6% compared to 67.8% reported by the Minnesota Department of Education.

The Minnesota Department of Education did not include students who completed graduation requirements during summer school in the summer following their fourth year of high school. The district, however, counts these students as part of their measurement of the four-year graduation rate.

Citywide Student Leadership Board

Members of the district’s Citywide Student Leadership Board, made up of high school students from across the district, shared about the work they did this school year. The board explored topics including disparities in access to advanced coursework across the district’s high schools, the need for additional mental health supports for students, and student input in the criteria used to evaluate the district’s teachers.

The board will meet again on June 4 from 4:30-8:30 pm at the CTE Center at North High School for a board retreat. The board will have its final business meeting of the school year on June 11 at 5 p.m. at the Davis Center. Board meetings can be streamed online.