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Budget news is good for 196

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news Rosemount, 55024
Rosemount Minnesota P.O. Box 192 / 312 Oak St. 55024

State budget forecasts are looking rosier than expected, but there could still be cuts in the future for the Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan School District.

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Finance director Jeff Solomon presented school board members with budget projections Monday that included better-than-expected numbers from the state of Minnesota. In a recent state forecast a projected budget deficit shrunk from $1.1 billion to $627 million. The district won't know until the state's budget is set exactly what that means for school funding, but finance director Jeff Solomon called the change good news.

The state projections help the district establish expectations for its own budget. School districts often have to set their budgets before they know for certain what funding they will get from the state.

With the most recent state information, Solomon told board members Monday he expects a 1 percent increase in state funding in both 2014 and 2015.

That would help the district's budget in the short term, but even with that additional funding Solomon expects the district to face $23 million in budget adjustments in the 2014-15 school year and $19 million in 2015-16. A $624-per-student referendum could help that if the district seeks one and voters approve it. But that wouldn't entirely eliminate the need for cuts.

"That's the bad news, and that's what left the (legislative advisory council) a little bit sober," Solomon said. "It really does show there is a need for funding education at the state."

Solomon also talked briefly Monday about the impact of cuts made as a result of sequestration at the federal level, but said that picture is still not clear. The state still is not certain how those cuts will affect education, but Solomon said the district could lose approximately $382,000 in funding for some programs.

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