This year the legislative session has had a lot of conversation around the “cross subsidy”, but what does that mean for Kenyon-Wanamingo?
A cross subsidy refers to the financial gap or deficit that can occur in a school district's budget when the costs of providing special education services exceed the funding allocated for those services. In other words, it's when a school district has to use a portion of its general education funds to cover the additional costs of providing services to students with disabilities. The cross subsidy amount for K-W is $845,200 (FY23 special education revenue $948,946 and FY23 special education expense $1,794,146).
As school districts strive to balance their budgets and address funding gaps, there's a growing trend toward inclusive classrooms that benefit all students. Inclusive education fosters a sense of belonging, promotes and encourages collaboration among students of varying abilities. It reinforces the idea that every student has unique strengths and talents to offer, creating a richer learning environment.
All schools, including Kenyon-Wanamingo, face financial constraints due to cross subsidies. This has brought on an innovative spirit in our schools. New teaching methods, technological advancements, and adaptive materials are just a few creative ways to meet the individual needs of students with disabilities. The good news, these practices benefit all students!
The special education cross subsidy has not only sparked innovation and inclusivity but also encouraged advocacy for increased funding. I personally have testified at the Capitol, advocating for increased special education funding, improving cost-efficiency, and implementing more inclusive educational practices. Parents, educators, and community members have also united to call for a fair allocation of resources to support students with disabilities. As a result, during the 2023 Minnesota legislative session, school districts will now receive 44% of the cost of a student's services.
While cross subsidy challenges can be tough on superintendents and school boards to balance, its impact has been far from negative. Kenyon-Wanamingo's commitment to providing every student with an equitable education has inspired positive change in which all students can thrive, regardless of their unique needs.
Interested in touring our special services department, send me an email email@example.com