In response to a request from Minneapolis Schools Voices, the district has posted the school budget allocations for next school year, 2023-24. The posted document is, in our view, a difficult to read and analyze PDF. Because we are committed to bringing as much transparency as possible to district financial information, MSV is sharing a formatted Google Sheet of the data with the public. Transparency is the reason we requested the information from the district, repeatedly, in recent weeks. We believe that the public is entitled to transparent and accessible information about district finances. It is also why we remain committed to covering the school board’s finance committee meetings, which are not recorded or streamed for the public.
Compared to the current school year, budget allocations to schools will increase by $25.6 million dollars next year. This increase includes funding for a half-time licensed media specialist at each school, which will cost $58,500 per school for a total of $4.1 million districtwide. The district is also adding $29.1 million in funding for 134 “intervention triads” across the district. These teams will consist of one licensed teacher plus two full time associate educators, at a cost of $217,420 per team. Below are some additional highlights based on Minneapolis Schools Voices analysis of the allocation spreadsheet.
- The average cost of a licensed educator, including wages and benefits, will be $106,575 next year. This is compared to $105,660 this school year. Because wages vary based on a teacher’s qualifications and years of experience, and the cost of benefits changes each year, the change of the average cost does not directly reflect the change in wages an individual teacher will have in their paycheck.
- The average cost of an ESP, including the cost of benefits to the district, will be $55,422.50 next year. Last year, the cost of an ESP was $45,196. As with licensed educators, the change in cost is an average, and does not reflect a change to an individual educator.
- The district is providing schools with “targeted ESSER funding” again next year. The total allocation for this funding will decrease to $3.7 million from $5.1 million next year. The number of elementary schools receiving this funding in order to meet the minimum predictable staffing requirements declined by three schools- Howe, Loring and Webster, as did the total amount of funding in this category for these schools, from $1.4M this year to $0.8M next year. Three schools received an increase in this funding, Kenny, Lake Harriet Lower Campus and Lake Harriet Upper Campus.
Targeted Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Funding for Elementary Schools
The district is continuing to provide what it calls small school adjustments to schools with fewer than 250 students. There was one additional school added to this group next year, Webster Elementary school. Overall, the district will spend $665,000 on subsidies to these schools next year to ensure they have enough funding to meet district staffing requirements.
Schools with Under 250 Students
The district provides dedicated funding to schools considered “racially isolated.” This is a term from the state of Minnesota. It means the percentage of BIPOC students at a school is more than twenty percentage points higher than the average percentage of BIPOC students in the district. Green Central is the only school that is no longer considered racially isolated next year. Overall, the district is providing $927,250 in additional funding to racially isolated schools next year. This year, the district provided these schools with $904,960 in additional funding.
Racially Isolated Schools
- The district is providing each school with “Basic Per Student ESSER” funding for the third year. Next year this amount is $500 per student, an increase from the $432 per student allocated for the current school year. Overall, the district is spending $13.6 million of ESSER funding through this allocation. (Note: This allocation can be used to then figure out how many students are projected to be enrolled in each school next year. Enrollment projections were NOT included in the data from the district.)
- The district allocated Title I funding to schools where 40% or more of students qualify for free or reduced price lunch. Overall, the district will allocate $15,904,282 to schools as Title I funding, plus an additional $397,286 as “Title I family involvement” funds. This year, schools received $14,540,251 and $387,639 for these categories last year. The increase in funding in Title I is because the percentage of students in the district qualifying for free or reduced price lunch increased this year.
- One school, Kenwood Elementary, was added to the list of schools that will receive Title I funding next year. The percentage of qualifying students increased to 44.1% this year, resulting in an additional $159,993 for the school next year.
Have you analyzed the school allocations for yourself? Did you find something you think we should highlight? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org or text us at 612-491-6770.