School board to decide Central Elementary’s fate in Monday meeting

The Bemidji Area School Board will consider closing Central Elementary during their meeting Monday.

Superintendent Tim Lutz commented in the board packet that Central is not only one of the district’s oldest schools and will need future repairs and investments, but also has the lowest enrollment.

Lutz is recommending the closure of Central and redistricting attendance boundaries for current students in the zone to attend other neighborhood schools.

The school district is looking to cut around $5.6 million from their budget to avoid a statutory operating debt and restore a positive general fund balance.

An online petition against the closure has gathered over 1,000 signatures.

The meeting will be broadcast starting around 6:30 Monday evening on local TV and on YouTube.


Larissa Donovan is the News Director for the stations of Paul Bunyan Broadcasting and has been, almost without interruption, since Election Day 2016. She covers events and issues in north central Minnesota, which include local government, crime, courts, education, environment and social issues. She studied communications at Bemidji State University and received her degree in 2018. Larissa, native to the great state of New York, grew up in Bemidji, and enjoys spending her spare time with her family and pet cat. She also loves Star Trek, punk rock music and the theater.

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