Our View: Keep moving ahead
Members of the Duluth School Board deserve a pat on the back. Finally -- after years, some say decades -- of waffling and inaction, a board had the courage to move ahead. To lead. Good for them. It couldn't have been easy. The meeting Tuesday was...
Members of the Duluth School Board deserve a pat on the back.
Finally -- after years, some say decades -- of waffling and inaction, a board had the courage to move ahead. To lead.
Good for them.
It couldn't have been easy. The meeting Tuesday was attended by close to 100 people, many of them pushing for the board to delay the vote or back up and somehow start the whole process over again.
To the credit of everyone involved, all were allowed to speak and everyone was civil. That's important. But folks who really want their voices heard need to speak up at the
beginning of a process such as this, not the end.
One thing is certain: No one can complain that this process was kept under wraps. It has been incredibly public from the get-go. Superintendent Keith Dixon and his band of merry citizen advisers have traveled far and wide to inform and gather input, speaking to business groups, church groups and anyone else who would have them.
It's possible many didn't take the process seriously because past school boards never took the leap. Or perhaps some were lulled into a false sense of security because of the length of time it took for the district and Johnson Controls to research and compile the various options for long-term facilities improvements.
Underestimating Dixon would be a mistake. He was brought here because he successfully guided two other school districts through a similar process.
We hope that he will be able to do the same here in Duluth. These are exciting times. And the best is yet to come -- new or like-new facilities for our children.
Letting go isn't easy, but, as Dixon pointed out, people need to focus on what's best for our children.
"I think to try to continue to find solutions to sustain a particular building (is understandable)," Dixon said in an interview Wednesday, the day after the board voted yes to the Red plan and no to a referendum. "But what we have to start to understand, though, is any excess dollars we have, we need to put into programming, class-size reductions ... not into infrastructures to provide extra buildings we don't need."
For those of you who protested the Red plan, that means accepting defeat and getting on board to make it the best plan possible.
The borderlines for the two high schools -- and the lower level schools that will feed into them -- have yet to be determined. You can still impact that and many of the other details that remain to be answered: transportion, building design, programming, etc.
But don't make the mistake of waiting for the next major vote to voice your opinion -- by then, it's too late.