One of the primary responsibilities of a School Board is to review and pass a budget every year before July 1. The 2022-23 Rochester Public Schools Budget is being presented to the School Board at a Study Session on May 17, with discussion at the June 7 and June 21 Regular Meetings. The Board is expected to take a vote on the 2022-23 Budget at the June 21 meeting.
John Carlson, Executive Director of Finance, describes the budget preparation process in his letter: "Preparing a school budget starts almost a year in advance. Decisions on budget enhancements or reductions are best preliminarily decided about five to six months in advance of the next school year. The budgeting process really comes together in February and March during the annual staffing process and the decisions made by the end of January guide all our processes. We spend April finetuning and coding everything across more than 25,000 budget codes. By the time we get to May with a public document like this, we have collectively spent hundreds of hours between the School Board, staff leaders, and business services department staff. As is often the case when reductions need to be made, we include opportunities for staff and the public to weigh-in with feedback before making final decisions on what to include and what not to include in the proposed budget."
One of the key issues in creating this year's budget is taking steps to address a $23.0 million budget deficit and create a structurally balanced budget over the next three years. Page 30 of the Proposed Budget answers "How did you resolve the $23.0 million deficit?" Part of the approach is to reduce forecasted spending in the 2022-23 budget reductions by $7.0 million. Page 135-142 of the Proposed Budget documents the reductions proposed. Pages 143- 146 documents the community feedback process and how the administration responded to the community feedback in the Proposed Budget.
I encourage you to read how the administration accounted for the community perspective while keeping to our financial limitations, browse the full Proposed Budget, watch the discussions on the Budget at the upcoming School Board meetings, and share your feedback with the Board and Superintendent.