Dear Northfield School District Families,
In the latest district family update, I shared information about an upcoming budget planning process. We invite parents and community members to join staff members in an upcoming process to prioritize our budget needs.
Our district has been fortunate to have effectively managed its financial resources. Standard & Poor’s recently validated our financial oversight by assigning the district a prestigious AA+ bond rating. Only three school districts in the state have a better bond rating than Northfield and only two others have an equivalent bond rating.
The district is experiencing declining enrollment. Recently, the district commissioned a demographic study that indicates we will have approximately 400 fewer students over the next ten years. Additionally, state funding has not kept pace with inflation over the last 30 years. Northfield taxpayers have routinely (and generously) voted to fill in the gaps left by this chronic underfunding from the legislature.
A combination of fewer students and state underfunding has resulted in deficit spending. We have maintained a strong budget reserve that has allowed us to survive the initial impacts of declining enrollment and the challenges presented by COVID-19. However, we will need to reduce our expenditures over the next three years to maintain the district’s financial health.
Thanks in advance for your participation. Please contact me directly with any questions.
Matt Hillmann, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools