Budget cuts could be on the way for RPS - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Budget cuts could be on the way for RPS


ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) --  At Tuesday's Rochester school board meeting, teachers packed the room, asking the district to take on issues plaguing the education system, and board members took a look at some numbers-- numbers that could mean budget cuts as early as next school year.

Despite the frigid temps, dozens of Rochester Public School teachers took to the side walks out side the Edison building before tonight's meeting as part of a national day of action.

They came to ask the school board to partner with teachers to do everything possible to improve education in the city.

They say a lot of issues facing the Rochester School District are common across the nation, but they want to see RPS be the district to come up with solutions.

"We need to take back the curriculum, reduce the testing that we have out there, have manageable class sizes for every teacher so that we can continue to develop maintain and enrich the relationships we have with the families that we work with," said Dr. Kit Hawkins of the Rochester Education Association.

Superintendent Michael Munoz said after the demonstration that the board appreciates the work the teachers do, and the board provided hot chocolate for when they came in from the cold.

Additionally school board members got an updated look at the five year general fund forecast.

This is something they take a look at a few times a year, but since the time they took a look, they approved the expansion of all-day, every day kindergarten.

Looking at the numbers, the district could be looking at budget cuts as early as next school year.

It could also have implications for the next the operating referendum after the current one expires at the end of 2016.

Munoz says while the district has managed to hold property taxes steady for the past few years or even lower them, the board has a lot to consider in the coming years.

"So we're feeling that we've done really well to reduce the impact on our community. but you know, as you look at our budget in the next few years we are going to have to find a way to increase the funding coming in," he said.

These numbers don't take into account the multitude of things that could change over the next few years, including changes that could be made at the state level.

It could also be impacted by unexpected expenditures here in Rochester or expansion through DMC.

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