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$2 Million in cuts: How lower enrollment is impacting the Grand Rapids School District

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DULUTH, MN-- After a challenging year for educators, the Grand Rapids School District is looking at cutting costs.

"We will be making budget reductions. The number we are targeting is $2 million," said Grand Rapids Schools Superintendent Matt Grose.

80% of those affected by the budget cuts will be school personnel such as teachers, substitutes, and school administrators.

"There's no way to get to a $2 million reduction without it affecting people," said Grose.

Of the $2 million in cuts, 33% will come from the district's teacher budget.

Grose said four to six teachers could be affected, but not all are expected to lose their jobs.

The superintendent also said the pandemic and lower enrollment rates are to blame.

"We had more students go home school. We had more students attend virtual online academies," said Grose.

But there is a bill in the works down in St. Paul that might help school districts like Grand Rapids.

"So your down this much because you missed out on this many students. How can the state step in and appropriate funds so you don't need to make cuts," said Representative Spencer Igo.

Igo represents the Grand Rapids area in the Minnesota House. He said the legislature is working to pass a bill aimed at addressing lost revenue due to enrollment.

"It's going to be funding to give back to our school districts, to help them catch up from the last year of shutdowns," said Igo

The bill is in the early stages, and while Igo couldn't give us a specific dollar amount, he said it will take bipartisan support for the bill to pass.

"We have a Democrat ran bill. We have a Republican ran bill. They are very very close and they are taking the Governor's proposals. It's finding that way to mush them together and find a way that works better for all of us," Igo said.

Representative Igo says he believes the bill will pass in the coming weeks.

John Cardinale

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