I’ve mostly ignored this story for a variety of reasons but it is sort of an elephant in the room. A friend emailed this comment to me this morning:
Wish the DNT would have identified the writer criticizing Edison as a #709 employee.
Here’s what I wrote back
Ms. Holte teaches Headstart at Laura Mac or did when I was on the Board. She once wrote in ten years ago or so upset that the District was using Roundup to kill weeds. I think that’s how I got to know her and I subsequently began reading to her classes every year.
She’s beaten up Edison in a couple previous letters to the Editor. What she writes should be covered by the Trib. I scratch my head over the building of the Northstar too. Although my family doesn’t quite buy my explanation (and I’ve not made any inquiries recently) I think that somewhere in state law Charter Schools are given state backing to build facilities. One of my family members seems to think this has all come from donations. If so, the District should hire that fundraiser pronto at triple the salary.
If I’m right, and I’m sure I am, its state taxpayers who are backing Edison’s bonding whereas Duluth taxpayers are footing all the bills for the Red Plan.
I’ve never had any legislative say in any laws making the Edison school financing possible so I’m simply a witness to the results.
Edison might not have been so eager to build if the District hadn’t cast them adrift, at the behest of the teacher’s union and then made it clear that they wanted to undermine the school. The teacher’s union had the chance of being a part of Edision back in 1996 but demured. After ten years of lagging behind the District’s student test scores this year they are creeping ahead of the District.
Edison teachers don’t make nearly what ISD 709 teachers make and are apparently having a little more success. They also have a pretty high morale. They also aren’t saddled with the Red Plan. Its fortunate for the Duluth Public Schools that the new Edison School isn’t any larger than it is, temporary traffic jam or not. BTW the Trib didn’t report on any traffic and parking troubles at East High but the Zenith story did. Fair and Balanced? I think not!