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Covid, inflation pressures impact school budget

Not surprisingly, the Covid-19 pandemic impacted lives in a wide variety of ways. One aspect the pandemic has unexpectedly continued to affect is school finance, Cloquet superintendent Michael Cary told school board members Monday.

While student numbers had been rising slowly but steadily before the pandemic, they have failed to rebound after students returned to in-person classes. Fewer students means less funding from the state of Minnesota.

Additionally, inflation — blamed in part on supply shortages caused by the pandemic — is getting in the way of contract negotiations, he said, referring...