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Cannon Falls Area Schools are facing nearly a half million dollars in budget cuts.

The shortfall comes after enrollment dropped by 43 students this year, 17 due to the kindergarten class having 17 fewer students than last year’s graduating seniors.

With funding of $10,640 per student, the anticipated budget shortfall will be more than $450,000.

“Going into next year, we are going to have to make cuts,” Superintendent Jeff Sampson said.

The board approved having Sampson and district administrators recommend cuts to get the budget in line. Those cuts could include “the discontinuance of programs, curtailment of programs, discontinuance of positions or curtailment of positions.”

The resolution approved on a 5-0 roll call vote by the board states: “A determination must be made as to which teachers’ contracts must be terminated and not renewed and which teachers may be placed on unrequested leave of absence without pay or fringe benefits …”

After the meeting, Sampson said that he hopes to have recommendations to the board in December or January. The district Finance Committee will be involved in recommending reductions, he said.

Board Chairman Bob Brintnall said making cuts is a business decision.

“We have to treat our students like a business, unfortunately,” he said. “With less students, we have less revenue.”

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