Long Term Plan for St Louis Park Schools
Given that the St Louis Park School District is faced with another year of budget cuts that further erode the quality of our programs. - Given that our district has faced budget reductions in the past 6 of 7 years, totaling $6,888,357. - Given that we can expect further budget shortfalls in the future that will force our district to further cut programs and raise class size. - Given that our district is working on qualification for the IB PYP program, and there is now a question of if we can afford the cost of this program. - Given that our district is now faced with dismantling the highly effective teaming and looping program at the Junior High because we can not afford it. - Given that we continue to hear of new programs being proposed that we know we can not afford. - Given that there is no guarantee or even realistic expectation of increased state or federal funding in future years. - Given that parents, teachers and school administrators have repeatedly asked the district to map out a vision and financial plan to carry our district into the next years and decades; a plan and vision that keep our district focused on a quality education for each child, maintains our core programs and is fiscally sound. We, the undersigned petitioners respectfully and strongly request that the School Board of St Louis Park create a long term financial plan for our district, and that this plan be implemented during the 2008-2009 school year. We ask that the board explore the option of closing an elementary school and reconfiguring our primary and intermediate schools, and any other viable options for maintaining a solid fiscal base. We ask that the board maintain transparency and open communication with the community as they research and create this plan. We ask that the School Board and District Office clearly outline any future plans and programs and the exact cost of each program. We ask that before any new programs are explored that we (the district) are sure that we (the district) can pay for the programs we (the district) already have in place. And we ask that the School Board and District be wary of relying on grant money to pay for long term programs, as grant money runs out and then the burden of financing the program reverts back to the district. We ask that any programs covered by grant money are accompanied by a plan to sustain the program once the grant money runs out.