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School spending spurs fresh discussion

Paul Kramp, Red Wing School Board treasurer, expressed some concerns at Monday’s meeting surrounding the amount of money spent at the last board meeting in March. Various projects came to $1.865 million, including staff changes.

“I think it’s important that we look at the decisions we make today and the impact that’s going to have on the school tomorrow,” Kramp said.

Kramp equated the five-year referendum cycle to a stretch of road and making sure there is money to make it to the end of the cycle.

“We’re going to run out of gas before we get to the end of the road,” he said.

Kramp said he asked Finance Director Brad Johnson to make some preliminary projections based on the referendum cycle and “it’s pretty scary right now.”

“I think it’s important we all understand what those decisions are,” he said.

Healthy finances are the cornerstone of a healthy school district, he added.

“I absolutely agree,” Chair Heidi Jones said.

Supt. Karsten Anderson said it would be helpful to have regular finance meetings so he can be a part of the discussion at that level.

There is a need to hash out a lot of the assumptions and other things that go in to the budget, Anderson said, adding it should be an open process where everything is reported back to the school board and the public.

“We need to spend the money in the right way and provide the appropriate support,” he said. 

John R. Russett

John Russett is a regional reporter for RiverTown Multimedia, covering a variety of issues facing RiverTown communities. Previously, he worked at the Red Wing Republican Eagle, where he reported on education as well as crime and courts. 

You can follow him on Twitter at @JohnRyanRussett


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