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Lake Superior School Board to consider cuts

Facing a deficit, the Lake Superior School District Board of Education has called on administrators to make recommendations for cuts to programs and positions.

A resolution adopted at the Feb. 13 school board meeting in Two Harbors cites a decrease in student enrollment as a reason for the school board to “reduce expenditures immediately.”

The board was told in December that its 2018 budget faces a $437,743 deficit, which remained unchanged as of Wednesday. To make up the difference, the board would have to make cuts or use its $3.39 million fund balance.

“We’ve been fortunate over the last number of years that we really haven’t looked at reductions,” Superintendent Bill Crandall said during the meeting. “This year, because we deficit-spent, we are going to be looking to our administrators within their walls and come up with some proposals as far as recommendations for reductions in programs and positions.”

According to the resolution, recommendations for reduction could include “the discontinuance or curtailment of programs and … a determination must be made as to which teachers’ contracts must be terminated and not renewed and which teachers may be placed on unrequested leave of absence without pay or fringe benefits in effecting discontinue of positions.”

In addition to declining student enrollment, the school district also faces a decrease in taconite funds, which have been steadily declining for several years.