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The challenge for WDC schools: The Good, Bad and Ugly

A major challenge for District 2155 this year will be to maintain a positive fund balance and avoid Statutory Operating Debt.

The good news is the student population at WDC is leveling off. Quality teachers engage students in quality learning to include early reading interventions and opportunity for challenging college coursework. The varied course offerings are keeping our students in school and WDC students, parents, and community should be proud of (and yes, brag about) their school.

The bad news is School District 2155 does not have a referendum in place close to the state average ($822 vs. $101 per WDC student). We know quality education is not based on a magic amount of money. However, it is hard to attract and keep quality educators if a district does not keep up with pay and benefits for "the best." Education is changing with the utilization of technology as a learning tool. Providing learning opportunities utilizing technology requires successful grant writing and funding.

The ugly news is how public education in the state of Minnesota is currently funded. There are too many state mandates without financial backing. Communities like ours are forced to ask citizens for a referendum for additional per-student support, which places school board members and administration at odds with the community.

Our elected officials across the state are not responding to the negative impact that flat funding or cuts will have on our school. Last biennium every part of government received larger increases than K-12. Unlike some other areas of the state budget, the K-12 formula does not contain inflationary budget adjustments. If we had inflationary adjustments since 1991, K-12 would be receiving $1,087 more per pupil.

The constitutionally mandated funding of our school needs your voice.