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

Minnesota schools brace for big budget cuts amid pandemic fallout

Pandemic has tightened budgets, but changes could leave districts short


April 30, 2021

Leila Navidi, Star Tribune

Many schools are facing budget deficits because of declining enrollment and effects of the pandemic, including Anoka-Hennepin. This file photo shows students at Jackson Middle School in that district.

Minnesota school districts are preparing to lay off teachers, drop programs and increase class sizes as they begin to feel the full impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their budgets.

Across the state, districts that saw their costs surge and enrollment drop during the pandemic school year are drawing down on their reserves and finalizing millions of dollars in cuts. With state lawmakers in a stalemate over school funding and budget deadlines approaching, many schools have begun sending out layoff notices, in some cases by the dozens.

But as they reduce their budgets for the declines of the pandemic school year, district leaders fear they're setting things off-balance for next year. As the pandemic recedes, thousands of students who left or delayed their start in public schools this year are expected to show up - to buildings staffed with fewer teachers.


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