I had, have, a long list of nuggets that I ran out of time to write. Today I was ready to continue these posts but ran out of enthusiasm. I’ve got a dozen emails to reply to concerning bringing equity to Denfeld High but this morning when I still had some vigor I had to meet with some experts to plan our family’s fiscal future unto death. I’m pleased to report that the mortality tables give me another 26 years. Even so, I plan to outlive age 89. Making sure our retirement savings last that long is of some modest importance to meeting that goal.

Looking into the future is always a challenge to folks who are consumed with tomorrow’s crises. That’s where the Duluth School District is now. We’re flitting from crisis to crisis. The latest crisis was to pass four years worth of teacher’s contracts for the sake of “stability.” Never Mind that our Business Director handed us a schedule beforehand that shows that we will be in deficit in three years. If we spend even more, by hiring new teachers, we will be in deficit even sooner.

If the School Board decides to spend money to equalize Denfeld’s program offerings with those of East High we will simply find ourselves in default even sooner. Not to be a smartass but I’d prefer to take stuff away from East High School to bring their program down to Denfeld’s threadbare level. Otherwise, we will be in default even sooner. Until we meet tonight and I get a chance to ask our Business Director for his suggestions how to avoid bankruptcy I’m disinclined to answer all these emails.

For Minnesota School Districts bankruptcy is called SOD (Statutory Operating Debt). When I began running for the School Board futilely in the early 1990s we were in SOD. The School Board of that Era chose to stop funding all Duluth Extracurricular activities one year. That’s an option.

Instead of writing posts or replying to email under these circumstances I asked Claudia to take a long walk with me in the very welcome sun this afternoon. When we got home we sat on our sunporch and cracked a bottle of wine. It hasn’t solved our District’s current crises but I’m not gnashing my teeth quite so much.

I got an email from our Chairman this morning who told me that by all means we should talk about our budget. He just didn’t want the school board to talk about the past, the Red Plan or our teacher contract settlement. He’s discouraged too but, the way things are headed, he ain’t seen nothin yet.

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