Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News)- The Rochester Public Schools Board (RPS) has unanimously approved its budget for the upcoming school year. 

Read More: Rochester School Board Approves $19.4 Million Ballot Question

The budget, which was passed during a regular RPS board meeting Tuesday night, is set to be the last of its kind. 

The district is set to present its voters later this year with a referendum that would increase property taxes allocated to the school district by $19.4 million if it is passed. 

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If the referendum fails, RPS would have to enact sweeping budget cuts to staff, student services and close multiple schools, Superintendent Kent Pekel says. 

Mayo Clinic Donation, Levy Extension & Reserve Spending Included in RPS Budget

The budget for the 2024/25 school year includes revenue raised by the one-time $10 million donation made to the district by Mayo Clinic late last year. 

It also includes $17.2 million generated by the RPS board’s approval in March of a one-time extension of a property tax levy that voters approved in 2015. 

Read More: RPS Board Takes Advantage of New State Law to Extend Lifetime of Property Tax Increase

Next year’s budget is also the first in multiple years that does not include federal funds allocated by the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSA) and the American Rescue Plan Act. 

RPS School Board
RPS School Board

A document attached to the agenda item indicates the federal dollars were not factored into the spending plan because a small amount of the funds remain and they must be spent by the end of September.  

RPS School Board
RPS School Board

The approved budget plan calls for the RPS to spend $429,583,597 over the upcoming school year.

The spending plan calls for the district to spend $6,708,352 from its reserves to balance its general fund.

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Gallery Credit: Carly Ross

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