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Cloquet Public Schools' revenues beat expectations

Despite a expected budget deficit of more than $500,000, Cloquet Public Schools' revenues have exceeded expectations, reducing the deficit to approximately $117,000.

The audit findings for the district's fiscal year ending June 30 showed revenues exceeded projections by nearly $1 million, Jennifer Smith of Wipfli said during a presentation to the School Board on Monday, Nov. 26.

However, expenditures were also higher than expected by about $600,000, leaving the district with a $116,828 deficit at the end of its year.

Enrollment in the district increased slightly to 2,752 students in 2018, with 655 — about 24 percent — of those students residing outside the school district. In 2018, the district also spent $11,473 per student, about $800 more than 2017.

In the previous four years, the district has spent less than the state average per student; the 2018 number wasn't available yet. The district has inched closer to the state average each year since 2014.

The district's unrestricted fund balance fell by nearly $500,000 to approximately $7.2 million, or 22 percent of its expenditures. The amount gives the district slightly less than three months of expenditures in its fund balance, which declined from 25 percent, or three full months, in 2017.

Jamey Malcomb

Jamey Malcomb has been a reporter for the Pine Journal since October 2018. He previously worked as a reporter for the Lake County News-Chronicle from 2015-2018. Malcomb is a native of North Carolina and holds a bachelor's degree in English and history from the George Washington University and a master's degree in education from George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. Malcomb moved to Minnesota in July 2012 and worked as a sports clerk and news assistant at the Duluth News Tribune. 

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