OSSEO (AP) -- The Osseo School District Board voted Wednesday to drop to a four-day school week with longer hours next year, aiming to reduce a projected $9 million budget deficit.
Leaders of the state's fifth-largest school district chose the cuts over a proposal to close two elementary schools.
The district estimated that moving to a four-day week will save $759,000 next year. Estimated savings from shutting down the two schools was about $854,000.
The board also decided to eliminate recess in elementary schools.
The magnitude of the actions and the fact that neither was mentioned as a possibility before a Nov. 6 referendum, which voters rejected, have made some parents skeptical about the district's motives.
"The parents will interpret this as a vendetta against voters," said Sen. Warren Limmer, R-Maple Grove, a district resident. "I don't think they could interpret it any other way. ... We've heard numerous comments both from teachers and principals and thirdhand comments from the administration saying, 'We can't let parents off, we must cause pain so we make sure they vote for the referendum next time it comes around."'
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