Duluth should own the decision on school closures

Someone sent me this story about Dr. Dixon’s early honeymoon period and DFT President Frank Wanner heaps praise on the then fresh new Superintendent. Regarding the imminent Long Range Facilities planning Frank said this:

Wanner approves. “The community should own that decision,” he said, adding he doesn’t want teachers or the administration dominating the process.

Closing, opening, or altering school buildings is an emotional issue, particularly for the students and families whose lives center around them.

Dixon knows this, having managed school closings in Faribault, MN and Fort Collins, CO. Faribault closures were precipitated by declining enrollment, while the Fort Collins district opted to accommodate enrollment growth by razing and building new.

The challenge ahead for Dixon in Duluth isn’t new: School closures in the 1980s and 1990s were loud and mean. But Wanner believes Dixon is more interested in a systemic solution than were past superintendents, and will find common ground with the community in the next round.

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