Rochester Public Schools approves 22-23 budget, new SRO contract at Tuesday’s meeting

Published: Jun. 21, 2022 at 9:53 PM CDT
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – In a unanimous decision, RPS approved a 2022-2023 school year budget north of $388 million. RPS is trying to reduce its budget deficit by nearly $20 million by 2025.

This approved budget will also account for school lunches no longer being free, federal COVID funding and the assumption that spending overall will increase over the next academic year.

“This budget, as board members directed, is the first of a multi-year strategy to eliminate a structural budget deficit that we identified and that the board chose to grapple with in a very decisive way,” said RPS Superintendent Kent Pekel.

The board also unanimously approved a new contract for School Resource Officers (SROs) that will be for this upcoming academic year. It will be a year longer contract, and will expire on June 30th, 2023. Though the agreement is not viewed as perfect by the RPS board, members view the new agreement as a step in the right direction.

“To vote for does not necessarily suggest that I am in favor of everything because we did not in my view get everything that the subcommittee desired,” said RPS Board Clerk Don Barlow.

“I’m hoping that the changes in this document along the path of being more equitable in our schools,” said RPS Board Treasurer Karen MacLaughlin.

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