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St. Paul Public Schools approves $1 billion budget for 2025

St. Paul Public Schools approves $1 billion budget
St. Paul Public Schools approves $1 billion budget 00:22

ST. PAUL, Minn. — The St. Paul Public Schools Board of Education approved a $1 billion budget for 2025 on Tuesday night.

The budget, which passed in a 6-1 vote, includes more than $707.5 million in general fund expenses, nearly $114.6 million less than last year due to the expiration of the American Rescue Plan federal funding, according to district officials.

The district also cites inflation, employee benefits and wages and the state's funding formula as contributors of the projected $150.3 million shortfall. The expenses this year will be more than the school's revenues, estimated at $37 million. 

"Reducing our expenses has required making many difficult decisions that I do not take for granted," said interim superintendent John Thein. "While acknowledging these challenges, I am confident that this budget will allow SPPS to adapt and innovate, and to uphold our mission of inspiring all students to think critically, pursue their dreams and change the world.

WCCO spoke in April with Katie Pekel, the University of Minnesota's executive director of education leadership, about what the proposed cuts could mean for the district's students, families and staff.

"I really believe our school districts are trying to keep cuts away from the classroom as much as they can, but you reach a point where the only way to make it work is to let those class sizes go up and cut teachers," Pekel said.

The district and the St. Paul Federation of Educators were able to avert a strike in March with a contract agreement that boosted licensed staff salaries by $3,500, in addition to a 4% wage increase for the next school year.  

The school board's next meeting is scheduled for July 16.

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