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Dayton: Districts Decide If Schools Close Tuesday

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(credit: CBS) Pat Kessler
Pat Kessler knows Minnesota politics. He's been on the beat long...
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COLD WEATHER: Winter Weather Resources | Viewer Gallery | Weather Center | Send Your Photos

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Governor Mark Dayton closed every Minnesota school Monday because of the weather, but he’s allowing school districts to make their own decisions on Tuesday.

State officials say the governor called off schools because the dangerous cold came while districts were not completely prepared after coming off of a two-week holiday.

Many local districts are opting to close for a second day, including Anoka-Hennepin, Minneapolis and St. Paul.

According to Dr. Brenda Cassellius, Minnesota’s commissioner of education, this unusual cold spell poses a major danger to students in every school across the state.

“I do think it was the right decision,” Cassellius said. “We were were just coming off two weeks of holiday vacation. We gave them the time they needed to get their teams in place to make sure all their kids were safe today.”

St. Paul was among many districts calling off school again Tuesday ahead of another day of wicked weather.

Jean Ronnei, chief operating officer for St. Paul Public Schools, says the decision to close down schools is a difficult one for any superintendent.

“When we are talking about wind chills and wind chill factors that are in the minus 30s to 40s, that’s something we have to take very seriously,” Ronnei said.

District officials say they are most worried about children waiting for buses, or walking to school.

The bone-chilling cold causes frostbite to exposed skin in as little as three to five minutes.

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