Responding to an MREA survey, 124 school superintendents across Greater Minnesota reported the impact of the proposed 1&1 funding for education would mean larger class sizes, fewer electives and hundreds of pink slips. The report results reveal rural Minnesota can expect 160 teachers and 80 support staff to be laid off or not replaced and a total of $17.4 million in budget reductions in the next school year in those 124 districts alone. Read MinnPost article on layoffs.

MREA surveyed superintendents last week to learn the effects of the proposed 1&1 on the formula. Increases of 1 percent in the 2015-16 school year and 1 percent in the following year (commonly called 1&1) on the formula are the Governor’s recommendations for K-12 funding of schools.

The House target of $157 million would not be enough to fund 1&1. The Senate target of $350 million is not much more. The House and Senate Committee Chairs are expected to release their plans next week.

The effects on students will be as follows: (in descending order of frequency listed):

  1. Larger class sizes at all levels
  2. Fewer high school electives
  3. Supply budgets frozen or cut
  4. Less expansion of technology for students and classroom use
  5. Less access to support personnel such as guidance counselors, social workers, technology support

The initial results found that 21 percent of superintendents are considering asking their local voters for an increase in local operating levies. About 65 percent of superintendents reported a need to spend down fund balances.

Those who are not anticipating cuts in the 2015-16 school year said there certainly will have to be cuts and personnel reductions in 2016-17 if districts only receive a 1 percent and 1 percent increases in funding each of the next two years from St. Paul.