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District 742 Board Cuts $3 Million From Next Budget

ST. CLOUD — The St. Cloud Area School District slashed over $3 million from next year’s budget.

The cuts made during Wednesday night’s meeting will result in the elimination of 38 full-time licensed staff positions.  Fourteen of those will be teachers who plan to retire and will not be replaced.  The result will be larger class sizes, going from a current student to teacher ratio of 22 1/2 to one up to 23 1/2 to one.

Besides salaries, the biggest hit will be to the special education department, which will have it’s budget reduced by a half-million dollars.

One resident spoke-out against the budget adjustments during the open comment period.  Lydia White says she thinks students of color will be the most affected by the decisions.

Superintendent Bruce Watkins says Wednesday night’s vote is the culmination of four months of work.  And it had to be made in preparation of a “worst case scenerio” of funding from the state legislature.

The District 742 budget for the current school year is $93 million.

The board says the feel they’ve made enough cuts that no further reductions will have to be made in the 2012 school year, unless something catastrophic happens at the state level.

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