• Willmar Task Force Meeting 2 Summary - 2/28/23

    The community-based task force met in-person on the evening of Tuesday, February 28 to continue looking into the current challenges facing Willmar Public Schools and work toward solutions.

     

    Review

    Assistant Superintendent Adams provided a high-level overview of the previous meeting:

    • Budgeted Deficit of $5 Million

    • Enrollment Decrease

    • Challenging Labor Market

    • State Funding Lags Behind Inflation

    • Unfunded Mandates (SPED/EL)

    • COVID Funds Are One-Time

     

    Adams then gave an overview of the questions asked at the conclusion of the meeting, making available handouts for easier review.

     

    Roles

    Superintendent Holm explained the Guiding Change document and reviewed the roles of the Task Force Participants as Stakeholders in the process.

     

    Realities and Assumptions

    Superintendent Holm provided an overview of the realities and assumptions surrounding the decisions regarding the district’s budget cuts, noting that since nearly 80% of the district’s budget is in salaries and benefits, staffing changes are inevitable.

     

    Breakout Groups

    The Task Force participants broke into small groups and spent time discussing the question, “Knowing what you do, what should the District’s highest priorities be as we adjust the budget?” Following this discussion time, the groups reconvened and reported their findings back to the facilitators, who compiled the answers into a form for participants to vote on which of the named priorities they felt were most important. The following made the top of the list:

    1: Mental Health & Student Safety

    2: Athletics and Fine Arts

    3: Class Sizes/Teacher-to-Student Ratio

    4: Academic Programming and Curriculum Resources

    5: Instructional Core Focus