The Minnesota Attorney General has ruled that the second petition gathered by Let Duluth Vote is valid.
There will be a referendum but it is too late for it to be placed on this November’s ballot. Had the Duluth School Board ever shown the slightest interest in the feelings of the people of Duluth this referendum would have been unnecessary.
The vote will be advisory. The School Board will not be required to honor it. It will be too expensive for some voters. Many of the Let Duluth Vote folks were not very happy with it but it was offered as a compromise to the School Board on the Red Plan. The School Board foolishly ignored it. Spent oodles of money on lawyers – again – to kill it. The Attorney General wasn’t impressed.
Most importantly this decision may finally wake the School Board up out of its Dixon administered, kool aid stupor. The District will have to design a new plan which follows the parameters of our petition language and offer it to the state for the Department of Education’s review and comment. If they had done this earlier in the year they might not have offered up a very serious plan. Now they have little choice but to do this seriously and ask for Let Duluth Vote’s help.
Because the vote will be advisory, even if it passes, a building plan that is both different from the petition language and the Red Plan could be fashioned. Whatever plan is finally created it could be much more reasonable and finally take into account such issues as transportation and desegregation which were ignored by JCI. It might even mean that the District can sever its relationship with JCI and escape their greedy 18% take of the bloated Red Plan. This is a very good day for Duluth.