Gov. Dayton orders Minnesota schools closed Monday
By Don Davis
ST. PAUL -- Gov. Mark Dayton is closing schools Monday because of predicted frigid weather.
“The safety of Minnesota’s schoolchildren must be our first priority,” Dayton said. “I have made this decision to protect all our children from the dangerously cold temperatures now forecasted for next Monday. I encourage Minnesotans of all ages to exercise caution in these extreme weather conditions.”
The National Weather Service has issued blizzard warnings for northwestern Minnesota tonight into Saturday, with snow, freezing rain and sleet likely for much of the rest of the state. But the big blow comes Monday, when highs of 15 below zero to 20 below zero are expected across much of the state.
Overnight lows early next week could tip as low as 30 below, which Dayton’s office reports will be the coldest temperatures in a decade.
The governor's office said the decision to close schools was announced today so school administrators, teachers and parents could make plans. The state Education Department reported it is coordinating with school districts throughout the day to notify the public about Monday’s school closings.
“Children's safety is always our top priority, and as a former superintendent, I know these are never easy calls,” Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius said.
State law gives the governor authority to order schools to close.
Rochester school officials already had decided to close Monday, but most other schools were waiting to see updated forecasts.