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Budget Task Force reconvenes to provide input on 2017-18 adjustments and long-term financial plans

Feb. 9, 2017
The district reconvened the Budget Advisory Task Force (BATF) to assist administration in identifying $750,000 in budget adjustments for 2017-18, as well as helping the district address long-term financial needs. All but six of last year’s 25-member BATF, comprised of parents, students, staff, community members, and administration, met Feb. 6 for the first of two meetings this month.

The purpose of the BATF is to analyze pertinent information and consider options for addressing the budget gap, while aligning district finances with learning. The group is exploring adjustments that include budget reductions, reallocations and revenue generators. Task force input helps district administration understand the priorities of stakeholders and provides insight into areas of concern.

Since the group last met in March 2016, there have been many developments locally, regionally and nationally that could influence the district’s budget and the priorities of the EPS community. At the meeting, administration updated the task force on the current financial picture, and gathered insights into changes and shifts that task force members believe are important to the districts constituencies.

This year, the task force is also helping administration prepare for the November 2017 operating levy referendum. The district’s current 10-year, $13 million levy, which provides funding for daily operational expenses such as staffing, supplies, utilities and transportation, is set to expire in June 2018. BATF members provided administration with key areas of communication and education necessary to help the community understand school district finance, the function of the operating levy and how it fits into Edina Public Schools’ current and future plans.

The BATF will meet again on Feb. 23. District administration will present budget adjustment recommendations for 2017-18 to the School Board at its Feb. 27 meeting. The Board will continue to explore options for the November referendum this spring, with action on a ballot question anticipated this summer.