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There's no more fitting way to describe her than as a bada** – and I know she wouldn't mind my saying so. Instead, she'd explode into a fit of infectious laughter that would light up an entire room. I have always struggled to find a more appropriate word to describe her, and I've realized that there just isn't one.

So I'd like to express my gratitude this Thanksgiving to a woman who probably does not realize how much she's appreciated because she doesn't hear "thank you" enough: my grandmother.

Through the lowest of lows and the highest of highs, loved ones are right there beside you. When you look beyond the noise and uncertainty in the world, you realize that family is the only thing that truly matters at the end of the day.

And on a far less serious note: To all of my relatives who continue to choose – for some reason I cannot figure out – to live in Buffalo, I want you to know that I'm extraordinarily thankful that I escaped to a beautiful, sunny state that did not bury me in six feet of lake-effect snow last week.

When asked how bad the blizzard was, my sassy grandmother replied, "1977 was worse."

The blurry picture below, featuring my two young cousins for "snowfall scale," is courtesy of Grandma:

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Minneapolis Public Schools to Face Impending Fiscal Crisis in Five Years

by Scott McClallen

 

Minneapolis Public Schools is headed for an “impending fiscal crisis” within five years because of continued dropping enrollment, despite the federal government giving it $261 million in COVID relief.

Senior Financial Officer Ibrahima Diop said in a Nov. 29 memo to Interim Superintendent Rochelle Cox that the school “anticipates fully depleting the general fund balance during the 2024-25 school year, and quickly descending into statutory operating debt.”

The district projects a nearly $500 million operating debt by fiscal year 2028.

“As revenue continually declines and expenditures compound on themselves, annual losses increase at an increasing pace,” a PowerPoint says.

Minneapolis Public Schools projects a nearly $500 million deficit by 2028. Courtesy of Minneapolis Public Schools

School officials said that fewer children living in the city are the largest source of enrollment decline. School enrollment has fallen by 20%, or roughly 7,000 kids since fiscal year 2018. About one-fifth of enrollment loss is due to charter schools or open enrollment.

In Minnesota, taxpayer funding follows students. So school finances are significantly impacted when many students leave.

The school projects an enrollment of 23,000 students in fiscal year 2028.

MPS spent $3,900 more per pupil in general operating costs in fiscal year 2021 than the other 15 largest districts.

The third tranche of COVID funds must be obligated by Sept. 2024. The school plans to use the funds to balance its budget this and next year, leaving about $70 million in annual funding.

– – –

Scott McClallen is a staff writer covering Michigan and Minnesota for The Center Square. A graduate of Hillsdale College, his work has appeared on Forbes.com and FEE.org. Previously, he worked as a financial analyst at Pepsi.
Photo “Students in Class” by CDC.

 

 

 

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