RED WING -- The Red Wing School District faces big budget cuts and the School Board plans to decide by April 5 what and how will be reduced.

Superintendent Karsten Anderson explained that budget cuts for the 2021-2022 academic year are due to increased costs related to the pandemic and enrollment declines.

“We added numerous teaching positions this year as a result of COVID-19,” Anderson said. “We needed to make elementary class sizes smaller so we could meet social distancing guidelines. We also hired additional online teachers to serve online-only students.”

There are four budget reduction scenarios in play right now and over the course of the next few weeks the Red Wing School Board will have to decide which one best fits the needs of the school district:

  • Scenario 1 reduces $4 million

  • Scenario 2 reduces $2.2 million

  • Scenario 3 reduces $1 million

  • Scenario 4 reduces $3 million

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Nearly all of the reductions won’t occur until the end of the school year and it is unclear as to who and what will be affected. The district’s main priority is the students.

“We carefully consider the needs of students when making budget reduction decisions,” Anderson said.

Jackie Paradis, Red Wing Public Schools business manager, will present the budget projection scenarios at the March 8 board meeting, which will start at 6 p.m. Paradis recommends Scenario 2 and the $2.2 million in reductions because it conforms with the district’s 2018 referendum spending plan.