Mankato Area Public Schools facing potential $7.5 million shortfall

Mankato Area Public Schools could face millions in spending cuts next school year, but the projected state budget surplus could impact those decisions.

Director of Business Services Tom Sager says MAPS is looking at a potential $7.5 million budget shortfall if they do nothing.  Sager says the primary reason for the deficit is a decline in enrollment, a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Revenue is down $5.3 million this year, says Sager.  Assuming there’s there is no increase in funding, another $1.6 would be lost.

Nearly 82% of the district’s general fund is payroll, and Superintendent Paul Peterson warned that staffing cuts were likely unavoidable.  But the recent news of the state’s budget surplus could also mean more state funding. 

Sager said principals and program leaders have been diligently working to identify where reductions are possible at their specific locations.  Their recommendations are expected to be presented at a work session this Friday.

Final recommendations will be made at the April 5 meeting, but the budget does not have to be approved until June.

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