Swords/Plowshares 17 – Transparency and Truth

I’ve just looked at a handout I picked up at last night’s Public Forum. Like the rush of union leaders for the microphone it appears to be the work of the same although there is no disclaimer on it explaining who wrote it. It begins thusly:

“The Duluth School Board should reject real estate deals that lack transparency and accountability and create tax-payer subsidized competition that weakens public education.”


Number one. talk about transparency. Who wrote this?

Number two. Transparency! The unions had no problem with Johnson Controls hiding the use of $84 million dollars that Duluth taxpayer’s paid them. But, the mysterious author of this screed doesn’t want ISD 709 to accept a $14.2 million dollar offer that comes, as transparently as possible, from Minnesota’s State Treasury?

This screed goes on to make many other remarkable assertions. It says the Charter law only meant for these schools to rent space from “churches non profits or private building owners.” Then it asserts that it is wrong for Tischer Creek to build such a building for a Charter even though it admits that there are another 27 Charters in Minnesota with such an arrangement. But Tischer Creek is both a non profit and a private building owner. That is exactly what this screed says is OK to rent space from – “non profits or private building owners.”

Then it gives an example of a charter school in Stillwater, Minnesota that has grown large and pulled kids away from the Independent public schools. Well, putting an enrollment cap on a sale would protect ISD 709. The writer of this screed leaves no room for the Duluth School Board to put such a protection into a contract.

Then the Screed writer dredges up twenty-year-old complaints that the original Edison Schools lost a lot of money. That’s true but Edison the business didn’t fail taxpayers. It failed its investors. And our Duluth Public Schools Academy plans to drop the accounting services that are all that is uses of the original Edison. As for the Duluth Charters – they have never been “for profit” public schools.

The screed goes on to outline a better option. Apparently putting $14.2 million into the cash strapped and Red Plan sapped Duluth Public Schools is not a better option. The better option is to stay cash strapped.

I suggest that you read Loren Martel’s description of our recent Budget meeting. I wish the anonymous screed writer had.

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