This letter-to-the-editor was in the Trib today. Its dead on.
School Board forfeited right to get levy approved
Heads up, taxpayers! In November, you’ll be asked to vote on an “operational levy” for schools. Unlike the $293 million levy approved by the School Board, this levy requires voter approval.
Four board members ignored the public on bonding for building as they were advised they could. As a former educator, I know there’s a dire need and I should support this levy. However, I will not. Taxpayers were taken to the cleaners by being denied their right to vote on the biggest and most outrageous levy in district history to remodel and build new in addition to closing six schools. Ignoring us soured support for any renewal or increased levy.
I’d support a levy if board members altered course on secondary schools, which they have time to do, and hire an independent to develop a plan to remodel Denfeld and East as three-grade high schools to compare with the red plan that uses a four-grade high school. Remodeling would cost almost $150 million less than the red plan, and empirical studies show no difference in educational or social value. Consideration also must be given to remodel west instead of building a new, extremely costly, junior high.
All students from Duluth’s present three high schools would fit into two, three-grade high schools (Duluth had this configuration for more than 80 years) but would not fit into two, four-grade schools. The three-grade high school would eliminate the need to construct additions or move East to Ordean.
Another way I would support an operational levy would be if our board members resigned before Nov. 4. These four rascals acted irresponsibly and placed all supplementary support for education at risk.