COVID-19 preparation costs could reach $20 million for Minnesota's largest school districts

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Two of Minnesota's three largest school districts are bracing for a hefty price tag as they attempt to figure out what back-to-school plans look like for this fall amid the coronavirus pandemic.

St. Paul Schools Superintendent Joe Gothard told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS the district, like most school districts, is looking at three options for the fall: reopen all 70 school buildings, keep the buildings closed and continue distance learning or do a mix of both.

"There is a lot of talk in the SPPS district in support of the hybrid plan, but all of these things cost money," Gothard said. "And we are going to have to be very transparent with our parents, taxpayers and with the state and federal government as we seek some assistance."

Gothard said there is an SPPS task force putting together a "comprehensive" plan that the district hopes to unveil to the public in the coming weeks.

"It is a tough time and we have to watch ever-changing CDC guidelines too," Gothard said. "We could be looking in the range of $10 to $20 million to do this and none of that has been budgeted because no one could predict a pandemic like this."