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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, Feb. 21. 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 reducations," 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."

Crandall explained that this is a yearly resolution, but it is typically just to evaluate what is working and what isn't at each school. Facing a deficit, this year is different.

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 decreasing for several years, the News-Chronicle reported in December.

Jimmy Lovrien

Jimmy Lovrien is a reporter for the Duluth News Tribune. He spent the summer of 2015 as an intern for the Duluth News Tribune and was hired full time in October 2017 as a reporter for the Weekly Observer. He also reported for the Lake County News-Chronicle in 2017-18. Lovrien grew up in Alexandria, Minn., but moved to Duluth in 2013 to attend The College of St. Scholastica. Lovrien graduated from St. Scholastica in 2017 with a bachelor's degree in English and history. He also spent a summer studying journalism at the University of California, Berkeley.

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