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Detroit Lakes School Board votes not to renew contracts for 14 teachers

Published: Apr. 21, 2021 at 2:26 PM CDT
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DETROIT LAKES, Minn. (Valley News Live) - The Detroit Lakes School Board voted Monday not to renew the contracts of 14 teachers within the district.

According to Superintendent Mark Jenson, any school district has the choice not to renew a contract for many factors.

He stated declining enrollment played a part in the decision. The school district is down by 250 students this year, which is roughly a $1.5 million loss in funding for the district.

“Some of the reductions weren’t necessarily as a result of loss of funding, but more loss of students,” Jenson said. “It would be difficult to justify a class size of 8 students.”

Superintendent Jenson says COVID may have played a role in the loss of some students. The Detroit Lakes School District has lost some students to online schools and homeschooling, but also had some move out of the district.

Jenson also said some contracts are not being renewed because of licensing. Those teachers will be given the opportunity to re-apply and be re-hired in the fall.

“Some teachers, who are really good in the classroom, may have a license that requires districts to non-renew staff at the end of the year and post the position and then rehire them in the fall. It is a formality set up by the state licensing board,” Jenson explained.

Restructuring and performance changes within the district were also considered in the vote not to renew these contracts. Superintendent Jenson says students will not see any changes to their programming.

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