Honest Abe 2

Following my last post my old ally asks new questions:

I wonder if based on what Reinert said in the DNT if 709 might not do better in the future. Won’t the kindergarten that is offered now be covered by the State?

Here in Duluth, ISD 709 will see an increase in per-pupil base funding. The Legislature increased the basic formula allowance by 1.5 percent in 2014 and by 5.2 percent in 2015. The 2015 figure includes funding for all-day kindergarten. All-day kindergarten won’t be offered until the fall of 2014, but when it is, it will become available statewide at all public schools. The state does not mandate student enrollment, so parents will still have the right to choose what is best for their children.

My Reply:

Maybe and its a big maybe. I do not expect the state to bail out the Duluth schools if and when they collapse. The state did bend over backwards to save Duluth’s teacher pensioners but that was a one year quirk from over zealous, newbie, DFL legislators sweeping Tea party Republicans out of the legislature.

The all day K is a real boon. Dixon’s Board foolishly took a half million out of the rest of operations for it to go toe to toe with Edison even though there was no public clamor for it. Now that money can come from the state not local taxpayers.

This year’s 1.5 per cent jump ain’t much but next year’s 5 plus is. However, I think it would only be a wash if the levy fails.

The District needs a big operational cash transfusion to compete. Then it needs a school board with a stiff spine to hire more teachers rather than give any new money to fewer teachers rendered useless because of huge class sizes.

That’s my feel of things without the benefit of hard numbers to go on. I’m pretty confident in my over all appraisal but I could simply be deluded as the Red Planners.

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