2019-2020 Budget Development Focuses on Smaller Class Sizes and Increased Opportunities for Students
Exciting things are happening in Forest Lake Area Schools. Across the district, plans are underway to bring new and improved opportunities for our students.
Community approval of the 2018 levy referendum has provided the resources we need to hire additional teachers and reduce the number of students in each classroom, starting next year.
Earlier this year, our district held public meetings to get community feedback on how to best use levy funding to support our students. We are now incorporating that feedback, along with the school board’s overall list of priorities, to develop some new and exciting opportunities for the children and teens who attend our schools. You can see a list of these priorities below.
A detailed budget is still in the works for next year, but one thing we know: class sizes will be reduced and programming and opportunities for students will be increased.
Stay tuned for more details as our 2019-2020 budget process moves forward.
School Board's Approved Priorities for Levy Funding
If the operating referendum is approved, the school board has identified the following spending priorities:
Reduce class size averages - ($700,000 - $1,000,000)
- Emphasis on early elementary grades
- Additional teachers at secondary schools to reduce class size averages
Restore and enhance classroom instructional resources that were reduced or eliminated through previous budget reductions - ($700,000 - $1,000,000)
- Staff training in instructional best practices
- Curriculum development and support
- Instructional materials and resources
- Technology support/integration
- Reinstate a process to ensure that curriculum resources meet the needs of all students
Attract and retain the best teachers and staff - (up to $2,500,000)
53 teachers have left the district for an average salary increase of $10,293
- Salary improvements for teaching staff
- Salary improvements for support staff
Enhance supports for struggling students - ($250,000 - $350,000)
- Reading and math support for struggling students
- Instructional resources for students
- Mental health and behavioral supports for students
Expand gifted and accelerated learning opportunities for students - ($250,000 - $350,000)
- Training and support for teachers to provide enriched learning opportunities for gifted and accelerated students.
- Instructional resources
Retain and enhance education opportunities for students including music programs, career and technical programs, elective course opportunities, and college level courses for high school students - ($500,000 - $600,000)
- Restore and expand course opportunities for students
- Expand secondary course opportunities
- Upgrade/replace classroom equipment
- Restore access to after school activities
Establish financial stability in an effort to avoid future budget reductions - ($400,000 - 600,000)
- Stabilize district reserves to account for unpredictable state funding