Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News)- A massive donation announced earlier this month saved the Rochester School District (RPS) from enacting massive cuts. 

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The $10 million donation from Mayo Clinic allowed district leaders to largely scrap a plan that among other things would’ve shuttered Pinewood and Riverside Elementary Schools next year. Despite being a large donation, the gift does not spell the long-term end of a financial shortfall within the district. 

In a news release released earlier this month announcing the donation-driven revised plan, RPS Superintendent Dr. Kent Pekel said:

We are grateful beyond belief for this gift from Mayo Clinic, which provides us with a bridge to the referendum that I will recommend that the RPS School Board put on the ballot in 2024 to provide our system with the stable funding we need to meet the high educational expectations that the citizens of Rochester have for our students and our schools.

Kent Pekel. Rochester Public Schools/YouTube
Kent Pekel. Rochester Public Schools/YouTube
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The parameters of the potential referendum are not yet available. The school district’s $10 million technology referendum put on the ballot during last month’s election narrowly failed

The revised Attendance Options Redesign Plan proposes moving Pinewood Elementary into the Longfellow School building. The 45/15 schedule at Longfellow would continue while the district would add a traditional schedule offering at Longfellow.  

RPS/Google
RPS/Google
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The Mighty Oaks Early Learning School would occupy the building that houses Pinewood Elementary. You can learn more about the plan by clicking here

Kim David TSM
Kim David TSM
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Public input sessions on the revised plan begin on Jan. 2. The school board is set to vote on implementing the plan on Jan. 23.

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Gallery Credit: Carly Ross