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Budgeteer News October 27

Getting elected to the school board in western Duluth takes gaining the trust of the people. The 4th district in Duluth is small enough that you can knock on almost everyone's door to introduce yourself. Learning about the neighborhoods, hearing their history, enjoying the yards, taking in the views, and walking along our many creeks makes campaigning in west Duluth fun. Talking to neighbors and finding out what my constituents think is what grassroots politics is all about.

 I still hear loud and clear that the citizens are not happy at the way the Duluth schools have disenfranchised them. This whole attitude of ignoring the people and telling them to, "Get over it" or "Move forward" rubs the people in west Duluth the wrong way. 

How many people that I talk to have pulled thier children out of our public schools is sad, but telling.  The reasons are many, but large class sizes, large schools, reduced curriculum, behavior problems, poor academic achievement, and the lack of respect from the district weigh heavily.

The recent Moody`s Investment Services report has shown that the financial management of our Duluth schools is among the worst in the state.  Raising taxes, even more, will do nothing if we don't have a sound financial foundation and if glitzy schools continue to be more important than academics and career preparation.

In my last four years, I've learned where the money comes from and where it's going. I'm asking you to reelect me for another four years to work toward solutions that engage the citizens and that can truly move us forward with honest, sound financial solutions that will keep the money in the classrooms.  I am looking forward to working with the three new board members that will value community input and involvement.

Art Johnston

District 4 School Board Representative

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