Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Enrollment, funding drops challenge school budgets

As budgeting begins, districts grapple with enrollment, loss of aid


Christine T. Nguyen, MPR

Fourth-grade teacher Kelly Brant stands in her classroom as she talks to her students who were learning remotely Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021 at Park Brook Elementary School in Brooklyn Park.

Facing widespread enrollment drops, unexpected funding losses and uncertainty about how many students will return this fall, Minnesota school districts are hedging their bets as they create next year's budgets.

Many public schools saw their numbers decline by the dozens - or hundreds - this year as families opted to home-school their kids, send them to private schools or delay kindergarten during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Collectively, that means that local districts' budgets are set to lose millions of dollars in state aid for the 2021-22 school year - a time when many of those missing students are expected to finally return to classrooms.


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