Reader's View: School district families voting with their feet
The Duluth school district has had severe budget deficits ("School Board OKs $2.3M in cuts," April 19). I know of several people who have left the area because of the tax burden imposed on residents here. The burden is due in part to the district...
The Duluth school district has had severe budget deficits ("School Board OKs $2.3M in cuts," April 19). I know of several people who have left the area because of the tax burden imposed on residents here. The burden is due in part to the district, which seems to mismanage its funding in a reckless and arbitrary manner. Enrollments have declined as people have fled from extortive tax structures.
Buildings in possession of the district were allowed to fall into disrepair. This served as an excuse to expend money on buildings the district now struggles to pay for. All of this was done without the consent of constituents. That displayed arrogance (if not contempt), a lack of empathy, and a misuse/abuse of authority toward hapless taxpayers. The actions served as dubious examples for students to follow, for obvious reasons.
We need fiscally sound management of our tax dollars and resources. It would make good use of properties still in the district's possession to repair the Central High School on Central Entrance; to relocate administrative offices and programs (Adult Learning Center, etc.) there, including the Woodland Hills program (instead of updating Rockridge for the program); to provide space there for the Duluth police to operate a satellite station; to lease or sell the expensive (not to mention its extremely undesirable parking situation) Historic Central building to whoever has the money and desire to make it a profitable endeavor; to lease or sell other vacant district properties; and to pass a resolution prohibiting any school district salary, wage, or benefit increase until any district deficit is reduced by at least 75 percent, if not eliminated.
The district, sadly, displays no fiscal competence and imposes financial hardship on taxpayers. The above ideas may help prevent parents from voting with their feet.
Joan Benson Peterson