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$437

First you lose your vote!

For the first time in Duluth ís history a major school building plan is not being offered to the voters in a referendum. Itís six times bigger than any previous bond. The Board didnít think it would pass so, on a 4-3 vote, it adopted it without an election. It claimed a survey proved Duluth didnít want to vote on it.

Then you lose your shirt!(or home)

At $293 million the Red Plan may be the biggest school bond in Minnesota history. Itís six times bigger than the $55 million bond that was defeated in a referendum 18 years ago. With interest it will cost $437 million. Its cost will sneak up on us because, unlike your home mortgage, Red Plan payments (taxes) will triple over twenty years increasing 5.5% each year.

Then you lose your schools!

This isnít all the School Board is planning to do. It wants to renew an excess levy for classroom expenses next year. Only three of four such levies have passed in Duluth since 1993. When the excess levy failed in 2001 the School Board cut one period from the school day - meaning one-seventh of our high school curriculum. If people who donít get to vote on the Red Plan get angry and vote against next yearís excess levy, we will have to cut $5 million each year from our classrooms. Since the School Board hopes to double the excess levy next year failure seems all but certain.

 

It is ironic that the School Board should put so much faith in new buildings to educate kids because one of our most decrepit elementary schools, Lester Park, is ranked 13th out of over 500 Minnesota elementary schools in math. So much for brick and mortar.

 

Itís been said that those who do not know the past are condemned to repeat it.

 

Our School Board hired Dr. Keith Dixon from Faribault without looking closely at his record. Under Dixon ís watch Faribault voters turned down two excess levies for classroom spending and the schools suffered. They failed because of a tax revolt after a building bond passed. Dr. Dixonís approval rating in a Faribault survey fell to 37 percent.

 

But Duluth voters donít have to look as far south as Faribault to see what happens to a school district once a tax revolt has begun. Just 25 miles to our north, Two Harbors has just laid off 25 teachers because of the anger over the costs of their new high school. Two Harbors voters are voting against classroom expenses even though they have only themselves to blame for the new High School. Unlike Duluth , Two Harbors got to vote. How many teachers would the much larger Duluth School District have to lay off?

 

Isnít this starting to sound like the Duluth Aquarium all over again? Influential Duluthians giving birth to the Red Plan against the Cityís

better judgment?

 

You have five weeks until the election. Make your voice heard.
Write to:
Duluth News Tribune                and you might want to tell the School Board Four  424 W. 1st St .                            what you think of being denied your right to vote!
Duluth , MN   55802                   They told us no one wants to vote on the Red Plan.

Mary Cameron       525-2362
Tom Hustad                    728-5720 
Nancy Nilsen         628-2125
Ann Wasson           728-1931
 

 

And know your candidates

 

For the Red Plan and                           Against the Red Plan and
against putting it to a vote:                   for having a referendum on it:

Judy Seliga-Punyko   2nd District    vs.         Harry Welty              2nd District Deborah Anderson    3rd District  or
Tim Grover               3rd District

Bevan Schraw             At Large                        Gary Glass                    At Large


Used by permission of Steve Lindstrom

To help call Brenda at: 390-7768.        Donations accepted at: Treasurer, 2610 E 3rd St. , Duluth , MN 55812

                                                                       Paid for by Let Duluth Vote

 

If you care about Duluth and its schools 
don't put your faith in the Duluth News Tribune
The last word on the Red Plan can be found on Harry Welty's blog:
 
www.lincolndemocrat.com
And if you're looking for some particular piece of information use the blog's search function.
You never can tell what you'll find.