ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

School board starts cutting

As Cloquet School Board members went to work reviewing a preliminary list of ways to further reduce an already lean budget at Monday's School Board meeting, Ken Scarbrough handed out copies of a random sampling of 23 other Minnesota schools force...

As Cloquet School Board members went to work reviewing a preliminary list of ways to further reduce an already lean budget at Monday's School Board meeting, Ken Scarbrough handed out copies of a random sampling of 23 other Minnesota schools forced to slash budgets for the 2007-2008 school year.

"There's a significant problem with school finance and we are in that situation as well," he said. "The cuts will be hugely difficult this year ... we have long since passed the point where any budget reduction would be painless or not impact our support for students."

According to his list, school districts from Albert Lea to Wadena are facing drastic deficits. For example, in Albert Lea schools are looking at cutting $400,000. In Wadena, the number is $666,000. Duluth is looking to cut $4.5 million from their school budget, according to documents.

Depending on how much funding comes through from the Minnesota Legislature, the Cloquet School District is looking to cut somewhere between $498,000-$750,000. That will bring total budget cuts to nearly $3 million in the past three years, according to Josephson.

The preliminary list of budget reductions given to board members was compiled between Scarbrough, the principals and business manager Kim Josephson. If all items on the list were cut, it would reduce the overall budget by $473,750 . The possible cuts come from eight different areas in the district and were selected in large part because they would not affect class sizes, according to Scarbrough.

ADVERTISEMENT

First on the possible chopping block are six paraprofessionals, which would amount to $115,750.

The next area on the list is the orchestra program, which would save $22,000.

"This is a very difficult reduction to make, however we feel that the numbers are much higher in the band and choir programs," Scarbrough said. "Also, it doesn't impact class sizes."

"You worked hard on it (this list) and I appreciate it," said board member Jim Crowley.

What To Read Next