Willmar School Board adopts budget cuts, discusses operating levy

Budget cuts are needed because enrollment has fallen in Willmar Public Schools during the pandemic. Lower enrollment means less money from the state. Pandemic relief aid helped but it’s expiring.

A file photo of the Willmar Public Schools sign at the Willmar Education and Arts Center, where the administration offices are located.
Erica Dischino / West Central Tribune file photo

WILLMAR — The Willmar School Board approved $2 million in budget cuts Monday.

The list of cuts included about 30 positions to be eliminated and some maintenance work that will be shifted to another part of the budget before the beginning of the next school year.

Superintendent Jeff Holm told the board at its Monday afternoon meeting that no faculty members will lose their jobs because of the cuts. They could move into other teaching positions that are open because of retirements or resignations.

Some hourly employees could lose their current jobs but the district has other job openings they could move into, he said.

Holm said about $250,000 of the cuts are in capital expenses that will be transferred to the Long Term Facility Maintenance fund, which receives state funding for maintenance of aging buildings.


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The cuts are needed, because the district has lost enrollment in recent years. Large portions of state aid to schools are tied to enrollment.

The board also discussed whether the district needs to seek an operating levy from its voters. No decisions were made.

Holm said he wanted to wait until the legislative session is over. It’s possible the Legislature could approve funding that could help the district’s financial condition.

In 42 years in the newspaper industry, Linda Vanderwerf has worked at several daily newspapers in Minnesota, including the Mesabi Daily News, now called the Mesabi Tribune in Virginia. Previously, she worked for the Las Cruces Sun-News in New Mexico and the Rapid City Journal in the Black Hills of South Dakota. She has been a reporter at the West Central Tribune for nearly 27 years.

Vanderwerf can be reached at email: or phone 320-214-4340
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