School Board 181: District to consider staff, program cuts
The Brainerd School Board Monday night approved a resolution outlining the financial condition of the school district. The resolution notes the district's financial condition prompts the school board to reduce expenditures, which may include canc...
The Brainerd School Board Monday night approved a resolution outlining the financial condition of the school district.
The resolution notes the district's financial condition prompts the school board to reduce expenditures, which may include canceling positions or reducing or canceling programs.
During the Jan. 23 special board meeting, the resolution failed at the finance committee and thus was not considered by the full board. Since then, Superintendent Laine Larson met with Mike Rengel, the district's legal counsel, and board members. According to Rengel, Larson said, a resolution like this is commonly passed in January by school boards in Minnesota. Passing the resolution is not required by law, but if a district is going to consider reducing or eliminating staff or programs, the resolution serves as a record of the district's intent to evaluate the district's financial condition, she said.
According to meeting minutes on the district's website, the board passed a similar resolution in 2012, the only such time dating back to 2010.
The resolution directs Larson and district administration to evaluate programs and staffing and recommend to the board how to improve the district's financial condition by canceling or reducing programs or staffing.
Passing this resolution serves as a sign of transparency, said Steve Lund, director of business services. If cuts do end up happening, the district can point to this resolution as a sign cuts were possible, he said.
"It says, 'We are going to start working on our budget and it may include some program or staff reductions,'" Lund said. "Not entirely, in most cases, but it may include that."
During Lund's nearly nine years with the district, whenever there have been budget reductions, there have been budget additions as well, he said.
The district has started the next phase of the budget process, Larson said, which includes meeting with district cabinet members and building administrators, to learn about priorities and needs.
"Really, all this does is it gives us the authority to go into these conversations," Larson said.