District reviews operating budget and funding gaps

Like most Minnesota school districts, E. Carver Co. Schools is facing increasing pressure on the district’s operating budget. The district relies on state and local funding to operate its schools – to pay staff, buy classroom materials, fund academic programs, and more. For the past 15 years, state funding has not kept pace with inflation. This has resulted in a nearly $620 per student gap this year, totaling more than $6 million in lost funding this year alone and more than $60 million over the last 10 years. Expenses are outpacing revenue and the district is not fully reimbursed for the important special education services we provide. This is the time of year when the district reviews its academic program and staffing needs. It is also waiting to learn what funding the district will receive from the State of Minnesota. The legislature’s decision on public funding will help the district know how big of a budget gap we need to fill moving forward. One way to fill this funding gap is... Continue reading District reviews operating budget and funding gaps

High School Registration Night and PSEO Information Night Rescheduled for 2/11

Due to weather, registration night is being rescheduled for Monday, February 11th from 6:30 – 8:30pm at Chaska and Chanhassen High Schools. The District Post-Secondary Enrollment Options (PSEO) information session is rescheduled to 7:00pm on Monday, February 11 in the Chaska High School Blue Forum. Read detailed information for each school: Chaska High School Chanhassen High... Continue reading High School Registration Night and PSEO Information Night Rescheduled for 2/11

25th Annual Community Jazz Festival Finale Concert – Feb. 9

Chanhassen High School will host the district’s 25th Annual Community Jazz Festival on Feb. 8-9, 2019. The public is invited to attend many of the events, culminating with the Finale Concert on Saturday, Feb. 9, at 7:00 pm, Chanhassen High School Theatre. Tickets for Saturday night’s concert will be available at the door ($7 Students & Seniors; $10 Adults). Tickets are also available online at www.district112.booktix.com.  For more information please contact either Paul Swanson at (952) 556-3536. Featured this year are the talents of guest performer Grace Kelly (Saxophonist and Singer). Grace will double as clinician for the events and activities. The highlight of the weekend will undoubtedly be the Jazz Festival Finale Concert Saturday evening. This culminating event will feature the student ensembles from Chaska Middle School East, Chaska Middle School West, Pioneer Ridge Middle School, as well as Chanhassen and Chaska High Schools. The most anticipated performance of... Continue reading 25th Annual Community Jazz Festival Finale Concert – Feb. 9

Enrollment Growth Continues

A message from the Superintendent The first commencement for students of Chaska Public School was in 1899 for four graduates. Last May, we graduated 745 students. Enrollment for grades K-12 exceeds 9,600. The last 30 years have been the most significant time of growth. We had five K-12 school buildings in 1988. Now we have 14, plus one for early childhood program and one with a transition program for students ages 17-21. Student enrollment tripled in that same time. What may be most surprising is that about half of the land in Eastern Carver County Schools is undeveloped. Housing growth may ebb and flow, but the long-term enrollment trajectory should remain upward. While our schools, teachers and principals handle the day-to-day business of delivering exceptional, personalized learning, district administration is looking at future planning. The key metrics we track are student enrollment and school capacity. If you ask a principal what the “perfect” size is for their school, you will... Continue reading Enrollment Growth Continues

With enrollment growing 1,400 students in 5 years, task force recommends new school

District also needs $62 million in deferred maintenance to sustain older schools After four months of study, the district’s Facility Task Force presented recommendations to the School Board on matters related to deferred maintenance and enrollment growth at two meetings in January. The first recommendation was that the district needs an updated bus garage. The current garage can hold 50 buses and the district currently operates more than 100 buses. The garage needs additional mechanical bays, wash bays, and more land for parking and space. The second part of the recommendation focused on enrollment growth and deferred maintenance (long-term building and facility maintenance). DeeDee Kahring, director of finance and operations, who also led the task force, began by discussing an updated demographic study. That study, completed by Davis Demographics in January 2019, shows an overall enrollment increase of 1,400 students in five years, with approximately 875 of those students in the... Continue reading With enrollment growing 1,400 students in 5 years, task force recommends new school

Preparing the budget for the 2019-20 school year

The School Board reviewed budget assumptions for the 2019-2020 school year. The district’s budgeting process begins with making assumptions about enrollment, revenue and expenses for the upcoming school year. This is the first step that ends with budget approval by June 30. Eastern Carver County Schools relies on funding from the state (state aid) for about 72 percent of its revenue. Local property taxes make up another 22 percent of the district revenue. The remaining 6 percent comes from the federal government, fees and other sources. State funding is the largest portion of the district’s revenues, and it is determined by the state Legislature two years at a time. No district in Minnesota will know its exact revenue amount until the Legislature approves the education funding bill, which in recent years has occurred in May or June. Eastern Carver County Schools is budgeting an increase in state aid of 1 percent. This is less than the rate of inflation. With exception of a couple of... Continue reading Preparing the budget for the 2019-20 school year