The Bemidji School Board will hold a public hearing this afternoon at 5 p.m. to allow citizens to give their thoughts on the proposed closure of Central Elementary School.
The building, in the heart of Bemidji’s Old Town, is one of the district’s oldest schools and has one of the lowest enrollments. The school board is looking to cut $5.6 million from the district’s budget, and the closure of Central would save the district between $460-465,000.
Some bills proposed in the legislature instruct the state to hold districts harmless and pay the per-pupil funding at 2019 enrollment levels, which would add almost another $3 million to the district’s revenue.
A loss of enrollment, as well as the failed operating referendum, have paved the way for the district’s budget woes.
The meeting this evening will be streamed on the district’s YouTube channel.