The Carlton School Board voted not to renew four teacher contracts in the face of a budget deficit and reduced funding due to declining enrollment.
Science teacher Robert Petko III and elementary school teacher Jodi Lorenz had their contracts terminated at the end of the 2018-19 school year.
Petko's position was eliminated after it was determined the only middle school grade that will need two sections of students is the seventh grade. South Terrace Elementary School estimates only 26 third-grade teachers and will require just one section in 2019-20.
Carlton's enrollment dropped by more than 7 percent this school year, from 464 in 2017-18 to 431 currently, and enrollment is expected to decrease again next year, according to the Minnesota Department of Education.
The eliminated positions will allow the school to save more than $105,000 next year.
Contracts for Title I teachers Maria Strom and Robin Williams were also terminated. Title I is a federally funded program that provides money for schools based on enrollment, free and reduced-lunch percentage and other criteria. Title I funding for next year is uncertain, Superintendent Gwen Carman said.
All four teachers were aware the board would be voting to terminate their contracts before the meeting Monday, April 15. Four other teachers had their contracts terminated, but all four were teaching on a Tier 1 license.
Tier I licenses, formerly called a variance, allow schools to hire teachers who have not completed a formal teacher preparation program. The licenses are good for only one year. State law requires a Tier 1 contract to be terminated, then the school must post the job in an attempt to hire a candidate with a Tier 3 or 4 license.