Report: Fewer school districts had excess debt in 2009by Tom Weber, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — A new State of Minnesota report finds that fewer Minnesota school districts are in the worst category of financial hardship.
The report reveals six charter schools and five traditional public school districts were in what's called "statutory operating debt" last year.
Schools in statutory operating debt don't have to close, but they must follow certain spending rules aimed at improving their fiscal standing.
This year's 11 districts in statutory operating debt is a small decrease from the previous year's number and it continues a mostly downward trend since 2001, when 45 districts had that label. This year's tally is also the lowest number of schools to be in standards operating debt since the state started keeping track in 1990.
Fergus Falls and Walker-Hackensack-Akeley were among those districts to come off the list last year. Both did it a year ahead of schedule.
Three metro-area charter schools were added to the list this year: Main Street School of the Performing Arts, Learning for Leadership and Quest Academy.
Traditional public school districts in Statutory Operating Debt in 2009:
- -Brooklyn Center
- -Norman County East
Charter schools in Statutory Operating Debt in 2009:
- -Jennings Experiential High School (St. Paul)
- -Sage Academy (Brooklyn Park)
- -Recovery School of Southern Minnesota (Owotanna)
- -Main Street School of the Performing Arts (Hopkins)
- -Learning for Leadership (Minneapolis)
- -Quest Academy (St. Louis Park)