Minnetonka prides itself on responsible and prudent fiscal stewardship to best serve the community. Aggressive financial management on the part of the Board and Administration has saved taxpayers money and ensured that 81.16% of the District’s annual operating budget is directed to the instructional program to maximize support for students and instruction.
· The District’s Aaa Moody’s Bond Rating (the highest possible rating) is a testament to responsible financial management and strong fiscal oversight. Minnetonka is one of just three such districts in Minnesota and one of only 70 in the nation. This rating uses several financial factors, but Minnetonka's rating is based much more on the financial management of the District than the size and nature of the tax base.
· Minnetonka's annual operating fund expenditures per student (based on average daily membership) is $10,015 for FY14. According School District Profiles published by the Minnesota Department of Education, Minnetonka's per pupil spending is $451 below the state average and $900 below the regional average for like-size districts. Minnetonka ranks 167th out of 332 Minnesota school districts in total operating expenditures per pupil.
· A self-insured health insurance plan for employees is saving the District $6 million annually in insurance premiums.
· Minnetonka has earned the Energy Star Leader Award recognition from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for improving energy efficiency and as a Top Performer for achieving an average Energy Star performance score of 81 across its portfolio of all buildings. The District is one of only 211 Energy Star Leaders in the nation--across all industry sectors--since the program began in 2004.
· Minnetonka continues to focus on innovative programs and high-quality staff to attract families into the District. Planned enrollment growth benefits all programs and students in the District and protects the District from budget cuts during uncertain financial times. As the District approaches the enrollment limit that has been in place for each school, other strategies will be needed for sustaining finances at a level necessary to protect staffing and programs.
· Minnetonka is the top selected district for parent choice through Minnesota's Open Enrollment statute. More than 2,900 students elect to open enroll into Minnetonka Schools from 36 school districts in Minnesota.
· Minnetonka has taken advantage of a competitive construction climate and record-low interest rates to invest in the long-term maintenance of our buildings. All District schools and the Minnetonka Community Education Center have been renovated since 2009. The excellent condition of our buildings signals to all who enter them that the Minnetonka School District is a place where important learning and community activities occur.
· Unlike most other districts in Minnesota and across the country, Minnetonka has relieved taxpayers from paying for athletic facilities through public-private partnerships that have funded exceptional fine arts and athletic facilities. This allows District funds to be focused on instructional space. Thanks to the City of Minnetonka for partnership in the Arts Center on 7 at Minnetonka High School; the Minnetonka Diamond Club for raising the funds to pay for Veterans and Legacy Fields; the Minnetonka Youth Hockey Association for funding the Pagel Center arena and the proposed new Pagel II sheet; the Minnetonka Track and Field association for completely funding the track replacement; the Minnetonka Anchor Club and Minnetonka Aquatics programs for major contributions for remodeling the pools at MME in 2009 and MMW in 2014; the Touchdown Club for major contributions to the Tonka Dome, Einer Anderson Stadium, and Veterans Field; the soccer parents and individual donors for funding the full-sized soccer/lacrosse field; and the Hennepin County Youth Sports Program for grants in support of the tennis courts at MME, a playground area at Groveland, artificial surface for the MHS JV baseball field, and artificial surface for the MHS soccer/lacrosse practice field.
· Focusing on innovation in education, the Minnetonka Public Schools Foundation endowed the Writing Center at MHS and funds more than $65,000 annually in innovative teacher grants. Since 1999, the Foundation has awarded close to $650,000 for grants that enhanced the curriculum in all academic subject areas: technology, fine arts, early childhood education, special education, and community service.