Mayo Clinic gifts $10 million to Rochester school district, averting school closures

ROCHESTER — Mayo Clinic is helping the school district here avoid severe budget cuts and school closures with a $10 million gift.

Rochester Public Schools officials announced the gift Wednesday morning, as well as significant revised plans to streamline district operations. The district is no longer planning to close three schools, but will shuffle several schools and programs around as it deals with increasing transportation costs.

Superintendent Kent Pekel praised Mayo Clinic for the gift but warned the district could reconsider those cuts, or more, if voters strike down a levy referendum Rochester schools plans to propose next year.

The gift is part of $22 million in donations across Mayo Clinic’s hospital network. Mayo officials announced Wednesday it also plans to donate $4 million to housing efforts in the Rochester area, as well as match local Salvation Army donations up to $100,000 and future funding for the Landing homeless shelter.

The hospital also plans to donate $5 million to efforts to reduce homelessness in the Jacksonville, Fla. area, $2 million for nonprofits in Arizona and about $900,000 to various nonprofits in southern Minnesota and western Wisconsin.

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