Kasson-Mantorville Schools talk budget constraints, teacher speaks out

[anvplayer video=”5175026″ station=”998128″]

(ABC 6 News) – The Kasson-Mantorville Public School Board is discussing budget constraints as it plans for the next school year.

The district, along with others across the state, is waiting on action from the legislature that could bring them more than one million dollars in revenue. The Senate omnibus education bill could mean and additional 1.5 million dollars in revenue to Kasson-Mantorville schools over two years.

Kasson-Mantorville Schools is projecting lower enrollment numbers as it heads into the next school year. At their meeting Monday night, the board spoke about how they’re working to keep class sizes small, even with less revenue from enrollment paired with teacher shortages.

Katie Wohlfiel, a teacher at Kasson-Mantorville Middle School, says the tight budget is especially having an impact on her and her fellow teachers. She says that low salary and expensive health insurance make it impossible to make ends meet.

“This is taking me down to a $2,100 monthly take home. And when I have childcare that costs $2,500 it’s impossible to stay afloat. So do I stay here and fight? Or do I leave?…Right now I’m staying and fighting,” Wohlfiel said.

The average annual teacher salary at Kasson-Mantorville in 2021 was $60,012 according to the Minnesota Department of Education – about $7,000 lower than the Minnesota State average.