With extreme cold temperatures coming Monday, Gov. Dayton closes schools

With extremely low temperatures forecast for early next week, Gov. Mark Dayton has ordered the state’s K-12 public schools to close Monday.

Dayton’s office said the order is “to ensure children’s safety due to extreme cold weather.”

Forecasters say temperatures could drop to -24 degrees Sunday night. Children could have been waiting at bus stops in historic low temperatures, officials said.

Dayton’s office said issuing the closing order today gives schools and parents time to make plans.

In a release, the governor 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.”

Some school districts, including Rochester, had already announced Monday closings because of the cold weather.

There is precedent for the governor’s action: three times in the mid-1990s, then-Gov. Arne Carlson closed schools because of cold weather.

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