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Willmar Public Schools asking for input before cutting budget

WILLMAR -- Willmar Public Schools is seeking the public's input before moving to cut $1 million from its general fund budget for the 2015-16 school year.

WILLMAR - Willmar Public Schools is seeking the public’s input before moving to cut $1 million from its general fund budget for the 2015-16 school year.
The district’s general fund budget is about $50 million a year. Decisions on the cuts will be made in the spring.
A survey will be on the district’s website, www.willmar.k12.mn.us , starting today.
The survey asks residents what services they view as critical, important or non-essential. It also asks for reduction suggestions.
Several years ago, the district’s revenues were exceeding expenses, but that has changed as the district has spent more money on efforts to raise student achievement and close achievement gaps.
The district is currently in its last year of eligibility for a federal School Improvement Grant at Kennedy Elementary School and has been using its own resources to provide similar opportunities at Roosevelt Elementary.
When the grant runs out at the end of this school year, the district will have to use its own resources to continue the successful programs in both schools.
Business and Finance Director Pam Harrington told the School Board last summer that the state has provided additional funding for schools, but expenses have gone up, too. The district’s reserve funds could cover a shortfall for a short time, but would eventually be exhausted, she said.

Related Topics: EDUCATION
In 42 years in the newspaper industry, Linda Vanderwerf has worked at several daily newspapers in Minnesota, including the Mesabi Daily News, now called the Mesabi Tribune in Virginia. Previously, she worked for the Las Cruces Sun-News in New Mexico and the Rapid City Journal in the Black Hills of South Dakota. She has been a reporter at the West Central Tribune for nearly 27 years.

Vanderwerf can be reached at email: lvanderwerf@wctrib.com or phone 320-214-4340
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