SARTELL -- What will be cut from next's year's budget in the Sartell-St. Stephen school district remains to be seen. During a special meeting Monday night, the board tied on a three-to-three vote on a recommendation for over $1.3 million in reductions, which means the vote failed.

The reductions included cuts to transportation, administrative staff, teachers, and support staff.

We'll have to sit back administratively and say, "what was and what wasn't favored by the board?", and we'll have to look at that.

Superintendent Jeff Schwiebert says, even with the proposed $1.3 million in cuts, that still won't get the school district to a balanced budget.

We're in a half million dollar deficit this year, so that's why we needed to find a way to try to get us balanced, so we have some work to do yet.

During the meeting, a handful of parents and students spoke in favor of keeping the elementary Academic Extensions program intact.  The recommendation was to go from two full-time teachers down to one.

The school district needs set the budget for the next school year by July 1st, but teachers who will be cut will need to be notified by next month.

Voters in the Sartell-St. Stephen school district voted down an operating levy in November of last year which would have generated nearly $1.8 million in new revenue. The school board is considering asking the voters again to approve a levy possibly this fall, but that decision has not been made yet.  Some board members expressed an interest in first seeing what the state legislature does with funding K-12 education during this session, before moving forward with another levy question.

The district currently has a smaller operating levy in place until the fiscal year 2022.

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