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Brainerd schools face projected $944,061 deficit next year

A $944,061 budget deficit is being projected for Brainerd public schools in the next school year.

The school board met during an informal work session Thursday to hear the numbers, based on Gov. Mark Dayton’s proposed budget.

Superintendent Steve Razidlo suggested the district aim for $600,000 in budget reductions.

Attrition could be a main source of that, he said, as an unusually high number of staff are retiring at the end of this year.

“Our hope and belief is no employee would be laid off,” Razidlo said.

About 30 retirements are expected district-wide at the end of this year. Of those, 27 are certified teacher/specialists, two are administrators and two are non-certified staff.

Once the board decides the dollar amount for reductions, staff will eye the budget and make suggested adjustments before the 2014 budget session.

“We would work on crafting the budget between now and June 10,” said Steve Lund, director of business services for the district. “We have to start putting the pieces together now.”

Razidlo agreed, “We feel once we’re given a direction, we’ll get to work.”

“I think the numbers speak for themselves. I’m comfortable with $600,000 if that’s what’s recommended,” said board member Bob Nystrom.

Most board members agreed, except for Chris Robinson, who suggested a safer number would fall between $750,000 and $800,000.

The topic will appear on Monday night’s agenda for the regular board meeting.

JESSICA LARSEN may be reached at or 855-5859. Follow me on Twitter at