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Art's Statement to Board supporting negotiations to sell Central

[Note: the School Board voted 4-3 on March 31, not to enter into negotiations with Edison Charter School's offer to purchase Central Property. The follwing are my comments to the Board supporting such negotiations.]

I would like to thank the School Board for allowing public comment tonight and on Monday.  It is a welcome change for us to listen to and encourage such public comment.  Thank you.

Zenith News Exposé on Duluth School Board Sham

The Zenith News cover story on November 3 accurately portrayed the Duluth School Board and Superintendent’s failed attempt at taking me out as the sham that it was. 

Your intent was only to report on the unredacted Rice Report, but it opened up further questions that beg to be further investigated.  As inaccurate and illogical as the Rice report was, your accurate critique of it only scratched the surface of what was really going on with this witch-hunt. 

Investigative Excellence in Reporting on the Local Issues of Governmental Corruption

I would like to thank the Reader and your columnists Ramos and Martell for their investigative excellence in reporting on the local issues of corruption and exposing undemocratic activities of the governments in our fair city.   These reporters are doing what every journalist should be doing.  But such journalism is rare in the corporate/government/fourth estate cronyism that is rampant in Duluth and in most of Minnesota.  Small papers like the Reader Weekly, the Zentih, and the Timber Jay in Tower are now doing the only investigative journalism.  It is only you small independent papers tha

Duluth News Tribune's poor reporting

It is important to point-out the inaccurate information that was in the Duluth News Tribune article and editorial on Sept. 22 concerning the Duluth school board majority’s abandoned attempt to remove me from the board.

Though rich in political innuendo, the effort to overturn my 2013 election failed because there were NO grounds to remove me; and there were NO intimidating behaviors revealed; and there was NO conflict of interest.

Duluth Public School Enrollment Continues to Plunge

The enrollment at the Duluth Public Schools continues to drop. This year’s September enrollment was 228 lower than last year’s.  This is a continuation of the steady drop in enrollment in the schools that has continued non-stop from the 1970’s when there were 25,000 students in the public schools.  But this drop isn’t happening in other area schools.

False Charges by the Duluth Superintendent and School Board

The report commissioned to investigate my activity on the Duluth School Board was authored by a hired gun of the school district. Its negative, biased content was predictable and expected.  But what was surprising was that the Duluth News Tribune trumpeted it as gospel, rather than political hogwash.

But even as unprofessional as it was, the report found:

no basis for assault,

no conflict of interest,

no racist comments.

Referundums are necessary and important for public school building projects

The following article was written in response to an article by the Minnsesota School Board Association advocating to remove the right of citizens to vote on large school building projects.

I'm a school board member in Duluth.  I respectfully disagree that schools or school boards should be able levy for building projects without a referendum.  In a perfect world, maybe I would be inclined to agree.  But I think that having referendums on building projects are more important now than ever.   Here's my reasons:

$12 million in Change Orders, Board Never Notified

 

Some things are changing in the Duluth Public Schools.  We have three new members improving the demeanor of the board and a modest increase in funding has appeared from the State and from the recent levy referendum. Both have the potential to allow us to start concentrating on lowering our class sizes, reversing the erosion in the number of students, adding back curriculum that has been lost, and addressing the persistent low test scores and the achievement gap. 

The New Year, Post Election 2013

 

The New Year is almost here.  The Duluth school’s Red Plan construction is completed.  The public has given us a financial reprise by passing a small increase in local support for education (but not buildings), and state funding is increasing. We have three new members on the school board.  Change is in the air.  It is time for some soul searching: what have we done right, what have we done wrong, how can we move from the past into a positive future?    It is time for new-year resolutions and a new era. 

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