Duluth Public Schools: Political, Budget, and Community Issues
Flash: Superintendent Gronseth and five Duluth School Board members have initiated a process to try remove me from the Board. It is based on trumped up, false charges. The Superintendent's action will be a long, expensive and painful legal process for the Duluth School, the community, and me. This is an issue involving a very problematic process of trying to remove an elected public official; and will ultimately be settled on questions of the First Amendment rights of free speech. See the menus on Recent Articles and Links. Stay Tuned for more on this.
Welcome to the Truth in Duluth website! This site is maintained by Art Johnston, Duluth School Board member for the 4th District. This is a forum to get information out to Duluth citizens on current political and monetary issues in the Duluth Public Schools (ISD 709). I will occasionally report on education issues, but my emphasis is not on education or school activities, but rather the community involvement in the school board, budget impacts on the classrooms, and tax impacts.
These views are based on factual information that I’ve learned and researched as a school board member; and based on what I've experienced as a board member. This is intended to be a dynamic site with frequent updates on current issues and historical and current budget information. Check back after school board meetings for updates.
Despite the public school budget being almost twice as large as the Duluth City’s budget, school issues often fly under the radar screen with little reporting by the Duluth media. Investigative journalism is virtually nonexistent in Duluth. The alternative newspapers like the Zenith and Reader Weekly occasionally do articles. The TV stations are often good, but it is in 5 second sound bites; and the Duluth News Tribune is very disappointing when it comes to reporting on the schools, and when they do an "investigative article", it is down right wrong, misleading, or only is a spokesperson for the school administration or Johnson Controls, Inc.
Citizen frustration is already high from disregard that the school has shown to citizens by denying them a vote on the Red Plan. And its getting worse due to the continued lack of transparency and honesty by the school district, large class sizes, reduced teacher positions, and the inevitable tax increases. And now people are asking, "Where did all that $314 million go?" "Why are our class sizes so large?"
This website is designed to inform Duluth citizens, education professionals, parents and students about how we got to this point and who's responsible and what we can do about it. This is meant to give a voice to reasonable decision-making based on knowledge (isn’t that what schools are all about!) and factual discussion of the issues.
If we don’t get the facts right, we’ll get the decisions wrong!