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Sleazy and ImmoralOld Home Page2

Let Duluth Vote Presentations to the State Department of Education Oct 10, 2007

Introduction - Harry Welty

Excerpt: This is not is a simply a local matter. Allowing the Duluth School Board to deny the voters their right to approve or turn down a building plan of this magnitude will set a terrible precedent for the entire state. If Duluth ’s School Board can raise $43,000 in taxes for each of its 10,000 students without the voter's consent what is there to stop other Minnesota School Boards from doing the same thing? If the same amount was raised per child by school boards for all 800,000 K-12 students in Minnesota , it would cost Minnesotans $34,400,000,000 (34 billion) dollars without any possibility of intervention by concerned voters. 

The Petition - Brenda Anderson

Excerpt: I had one 82 year old lady who walked her neighborhood for two days getting signatures, talking with people she had never spoken to before in her life - simply because she was so passionate about the right to vote on this issue. This lady got 150 signatures and shared with us that only two out of 150 people approached did not sign, and even those two people admitted it was because they were teachers (current or retired) and did not want to be seen as against the district.

a senior School Board member's view - Tim Grover

Excerpt:  am the one Duluth School Board member who voted against the "Red Plan" in June.  I did so because of my belief, then and now, that the plan is too costly and because it leaves the center of the city with far fewer schools than the rest of the city (and no high school at all).  Duluth 's history and traditions support keeping 3 high schools open.  Our geography virtually dictates it.  Leaving the center of the city without reasonable access to schools is simply unacceptable.

His challenger's view - Deborah Anderson

Excerpt: Not available on line yet

Threat to the Desegregation Plan - Harry Welty

Excerpt: The first likely casualties of the Red Plan will be the district’s magnet schools. In their place will come a division of the city that will segregate the Duluth schools as never before. Ironically, one of the primary statutes being invoked by the Duluth School Board to divide Duluth on the basis of race is one of the very laws which gives school districts with “integration plans” the right to build without resort to a referendum, Minnesota Statute Section 126C.40, Subdivision 6 – Installment Contracts and Lease Purchase Agreements. This law can be found in part on page 103 of the District’s report for review and comment.

Johnson Controls Dubious Information - Harry Welty

Excerpt: JCI has had a long history of working with school districts on issues relating to air quality and construction. It advertises itself to school districts as an expert in helping pass bond referenda. It must be very annoying for JCI to put in lots of work with a District only to see a referendum voted down. In fact, half of the Minnesota school referendums failed in 2005. It must have been tempting for JCI to search for a way around this unprofitable work and since JCI’s attorneys have so much experience with school finance law its not all that surprising that they would discover a way to avoid referenda all together.

At-large candidate view - Gary Glass

Excerpt: Not available on line yet

Addendum - Beth Johnson's 

Excerpt: We are just looking for the right to vote on this very expensive plan.  If the Red Plan does go to referendum, and the majority of the Duluth voters vote in favor of it, I would back the Red Plan 100% but it is a very serious situation when we as a democratic country lose our right to vote on such important issues such as our children's education and the vast amount of tax dollars it will take to fund such a plan.   

Let Duluth Vote flyer

Excerpt: This isn’t 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 don’t get to vote on the Red Plan get angry and vote against next year’s 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.  

Story about Faribault Experience

Excerpt: From 1995 to 2005, Faribault, Minnesota was ripped apart. That was the decade when Dr. Keith Dixon was their superinte ndent of schools.   


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:
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You never can tell what you'll find.