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Securing Our Financial Future

Securing Our Financial Future

Financial Situation

The New London-Spicer School District is currently facing some tough financial issues and we are proactively working with community members to address those issues head on. We have seen some great successes in recent years including very strong state standardized test scores and increasing enrollment, but we are facing challenges including a struggle to provide 21st century education opportunities, including adequate student technology and teacher training as well as a fund balance (savings account) that can support district initiatives. 

Our financial challenges are due to a number of factors including:

  • State revenues are not keeping pace with inflation
  • Increasing costs, in special education and other areas
  • Higher than average interest costs due to short-term borrowing to cover cash flow
  • Local property tax revenue is $300 per pupil less than neighboring school districts

Because of these issues, our district will have a structural deficit within two years and our school board will be faced with some tough decisions that may include significant budget reductions. These reductions will result in higher class sizes and reduced program opportunities. Our district is working to avoid these consequences. 

Community Finance Task Force

In early May, a Task Force made up of 18 community members from varying backgrounds was formed and has met three times via online video conference to discuss district financial issues and advise the school board on how to respond to these issues. A full report will be made available in the coming weeks on their process and findings. Our “Securing Our Financial Future” www.nls.k12.mn.us/securefinancialfuture  includes meeting notes and presentations, a list of Task Force members, and Frequently Asked Questions. 

Upcoming Community Meetings

In addition to the task force working hand-in-hand with the district, there will also be opportunities for the community at large to participate in meetings on district finances. Meetings will be hosted via Zoom video conference with as many community members as possible to seek their advice to help shape the school board’s response to the district’s financial challenges. 

Meetings will take place at 6:30 p.m. on June 16 and 18 with an additional meeting to take place on June 25 as needed.

We encourage all community members to participate in these meetings where we will present information on our situation and summarize the findings of the Community Task Force. Please mark your calendars and watch for a link to the Zoom meeting, coming soon.