At last night’s Board meeting, Director of Finance and Operations DeeDee Kahring presented the district’s budget reduction recommendations.  With the failure of the operating levy (question one) in the November referendum, the school district needs to make over $10 million in cuts over the next three years, at least $5 million in the 20-21 school year.  

The district has made over $10 million in cuts over the last 10 years, making every effort to keep those reductions away from the classroom.  Because state funding hasn’t kept pace with inflation, and with no additional support from the operating levy, it is no longer possible to keep cuts from impacting students and staff.

Included in the proposed budget reduction plan for the 20-21 school year are:

  • A soft freeze in pay, pending negotiations, for all non-teaching staff. This means that while there will be no new money in salaries, however, longevity and other increases can still occur.
  • Change to a six-period day at the high school.
  • A restructured teaching schedule at the middle school.
  • An increase of 1.5 students in elementary classroom size.
  • Other restructuring and reductions in support staff.

Included in the proposed budget reduction plan for the 21-22 school year are:

  • A soft freeze in pay, pending negotiations, for teaching staff.
  • The closure of East Union Elementary.
  • Increases in facility usage fees, activity, and athletic fees.
  • Reductions in Gifted and Talented, Foreign Language staff.
  • Reductions in support staff.

Kahring’s presentation to the Board can be viewed here, starting at the 1:40 mark (that’s one hour and forty minutes in).

Community members will have the opportunity to provide feedback at the Community Forum, scheduled for Wednesday, January 29th from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. at Chanhassen High School. Following a presentation from Kahring and Superintendent Clint Christopher, attendees will be invited to break out by topic areas: class size, 6-period day, middle school transition, closure of East Union, and a fifth room for other questions and concerns.  A School Board member, district administrator, principal and a member of the Teaching & Learning staff will be available in each breakout room. Community members can visit multiple rooms to share feedback and ask questions. Feedback is also welcomed by email to or to a voicemail box at 952-556-6107.

All feedback will be compiled and available to the School Board, who will make a final decision at their February 24 board meeting.  Up-to-date information is available on the Budget & Cost Containment webpage.