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The current predicament is the result of several forces, including stagnant state funding, Sinner said.
Sinner said that the district also has received no new money via operating referendums since 2003, though three levies have been proposed and failed since then.
Lakeville’s declining enrollment has added to its financial problems, Snyder said. This year’s senior class numbers about 900, while the average kindergarten class has about 600, she said. Fewer students means less state aid.
“If that trend continues with lower birthrates in Dakota County, we’ll definitely feel the effects of that,” she said.
Snyder said she’s hoping the changes are temporary and that the district will have a successful levy campaign in the fall. All board members say they will support a levy, she said.
Randy Anderson, the district’s business services director, said that districts across the state and metro area are also struggling with budget cuts.
“It’s the new norm of school districts in Minnesota,” he said. “When the funding hasn’t been keeping up, what are you going to do?”
Erin Adler • 952-746-3283