Cloquet School Board won’t budge on budget decisionsThe Minnesota State budget is yet to be finalized, and the Cloquet School Board again opted to delay any school budget-related action at Monday’s regular board meeting.
By: Brittany Berrens, Pine Journal
The Minnesota State budget is yet to be finalized, and the Cloquet School Board again opted to delay any school budget-related action at Monday’s regular board meeting.
Board members talked with Superintendent Ken Scarbrough about budget issues they will need to deal with in the near future.
“There are some things we’re just not sure about right now,” said Superintendent Ken Scarbrough. “There are certain state issues that need to be resolved.”
Those issues include payment that the state may or may not receive as federal funding for medical assistance. Lawmakers are waiting on around $400 million from Medicaid to fill a hole in the state budget.
That payment has been approved by the U.S. Senate, but is still making its way through the House, and with the Minnesota session wrapping up on May 17, state lawmakers may have to dish out a budget with $400 million less than expected.
“If it goes through, we’ll be in great shape,” said Scarbrough.
There are local issues affecting the school budget as well.
The school board is facing an expiring referendum, which has brought in around $250,000 for the district annually. Should they decide not to seek a renewal of the referendum in this November’s elections, or if they seek it and it fails, the district will stop receiving that funding.
The school board has already terminated 17 contracts this year in expectation of a shrinking budget, but depending on how the final state budget turns out, Scarbrough said they may have to look at making more cuts.
School board budget decisions are not likely to occur until after the state budget session ends on May 17.