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Meetings Set to Discuss How Levy is Invested, What a Failed Renewal Would Mean for Stillwater Schools

Next week, the Stillwater Area School District will hold a series of meetings for families to learn about the "cost centers" work, view potential budget-reduction lists and share input about school funding.

Although nothing has been made official, it’s no secret the Stillwater Area School Board is strongly considering placing levy questions on the ballot in November.

A levy approved by the Stillwater area community five years ago will expire at the end of next school year—and if the levy is not renewed, school district officials say there will be a budget shortage of $11 million.

That shortfall comes on the heels of more than $6 million in budget cuts made this year, and $22 million in reductions over the last 12 years.

RELATED: Community Input Sought as Stillwater School Board Mulls Levy Questions in November

Corey Lunn: A Bold New Direction for Stillwater Area Schools

As the district stares down the end of an expiring levy, 11 “cost center” teams have been working to create “a clear picture for the public of exactly how we’ve invested our existing levy dollars and what we would stand to lose if the levy is not renewed.”

The cost centers are comprised of 11 different working groups that were charged with putting together two separate budget reduction lists.

“The budget reductions were developed in the unlikely event that our levy doesn’t pass next fall,” an email send to Rutherford Elementary School parents reads. “These reductions will be for the 2014 – 2015 school year.”

Next week, the district will hold a series of meetings for families to learn about the cost centers work, view potential budget-reduction lists and share input about school budgets.

During the cost center meetings parents will have the opportunity to share thoughts regarding the following questions:

  • What things on the list are of greatest concern to you?
  • What things do you believe are missing from this list?
  • What things do you believe should remain on this list?

Town hall meetings to be held in late February. The school board will review this list in March, and is expected to approve it as the list of budget reductions that would be made if the levy is not renewed.

Cost Center Meetings will happen:

  • Monday, Feb. 4 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. in the Oak Park Elementary Media Center
  • Tuesday, Feb. 5 from 6-7 p.m. in the Lily Lake Media Center
  • Tuesday, Feb. 5 from 6-7 p.m. in the Multipurpose Room at Rutherford
  • Tuesday, Feb. 5 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. at Stonebridge Elementary School
  • Tuesday, Feb. 5 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. in the Afton-Lakeland Media Center
  • Tuesday, Feb. 5 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. in the Andersen Media Center
  • Tuesday, Feb. 5 at 5-6 p.m. from Marine Elementary School
  • Wednesday, Feb. 6 from 6-7 p.m. in the Main Forum Room at Stillwater Area High School for parents, guardians and community members interested in learning about cost centers involving Oak-Land and Stillwater junior highs and Stillwater Area High School invites
  • Thursday, Feb. 7 from 7-8 p.m. in the Lake Elmo Elementary Media Center
Susan February 07, 2013 at 06:02 PM
One more quick thing, Randy, as I just heard the statistic. Currently, one out of five teens are bullied.
SD February 16, 2013 at 10:45 PM
Troll alert.
Randy Marsh February 17, 2013 at 12:40 AM
Feel free to point out any inaccuracies rather than just calling names, Steve. I looking forward to learning things every day, unlike the tunnel vision SCPA supporters who don't seem to mind unsavory behavior (practically bordering on what is essentially embezzlement of our tax dollars) by the administration.
SD February 17, 2013 at 03:57 AM
Opinion is not empirical data. Neither is the Huffington Post. (credit Wikipedia) - In Internet slang, a troll is someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as a forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.
Randy Marsh February 17, 2013 at 04:35 AM
Steve, is $135,000 empirical data? That is the money the SCPA leadership awarded themselves for performing duties they were already being paid to perform. In the case of one woman who received a $100,000 bonus for something that she was woefully unqualified to perform (he education was a divinity degree) and was unnecessary in the first place. I guess we'll find out whether they can truly justify those bonuses if they go ahead and dole out more of them following the completion of the expansion project.

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