by Duluth News Tribune
December 12, 2011 at 6:00 pm in Duluth News Tribune
The Duluth school district’s $14.7 million fund balance was spent down by about half last school year.
Tags: Duluth, Education, money, Politics 42 Comments »
You better look elsewhere for sympathy, ya bunch of milky lickers. You aren’t getting any reprieve and no one is going to forget. I couldn’t care any less if the school board was shut down permanently and the building was torn down so we could put up a hot dog stand where it used to be. The kids don’t need a school board to learn.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 44 14
Try looking at JCI’s figures, see how many are twisted and go after them. Unless they were asked to mislead by the board.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 29 6
DPS needs to fix its financial problems quickly. Last week East High School had no toner for teachers to make copies and the week before that, no paper. They do not have enough money to keep a higher level of education, which is distressing. There is a girls bathroom at East that runs out of toilet paper every day before lunch and students have to ask their teachers for extra time between classes so they can find a bathroom with tp. If you can, ask your child’s school to see if they need anything, like paper, so that the educational standards do not go down.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 33 6
The problems you mention appear to be caused by people at East H.S. not doing what they should be doing.
Part of a teacher’s duty is to ensure materials are present for instruction, and if that means items are purchased out of pocket, so be it. I was a teacher both in the millitary and in college, and I purchased items all of the time.
I am not sure why you would need to use the girls bathroom, and if this bathroom runs out of TP everyday before lunch, why do you and the girls still use this bathroom?
P.S. All the girls that I knew in H.S. carried a little box of tissue.
Like or Dislike: 2 8
As you could probably infer from my post, I am not a student. I do not have information from other schools, but I know that teachers at East are frustrated because for 2 weeks they were unable to make copies. Yes, a teacher can buy paper and bring it in to print their tests, worksheets, and other items, however, what about the large toner cartridges? Also, how much is a teacher suppose to pay out-of-pocket and how much is the districts responsibility, especially since they have such large classes? I assume while you taught you had materials which you copied for all of your students. The issue does not lie with the teachers, but with the district’s lack of funds.
About the bathroom. I have toured East, along with numerous other parents. The bathroom was pointed out since it services roughly 1/4th to 1/5th of the student population since it is the only bathroom in a wing of the second floor. There are 3 stalls in it, one of which is now known as the “smokers stall” since (which now I am speaking through hearsay since I have not personally seen in, as you questioned earlier) it is its own room with a window. This bathroom also has apparently been running out of soap on a regular basis. Due to the size of East, girls do not have time to run to other wings to use the restroom without being late, and apparently, not all girls today carry around little boxes of tissues.
To sum of my earlier post, I have concerns about the financial well-being of the district and I think parents should find out if they can help out their child’s school by asking if they need supplies, like copier paper. If teachers, who already have oversized classrooms, can not even get the needed materials, then it will reflect poorly in the community and parents might then look for other alternatives, which will hurt the district even more.
Like or Dislike: 4 2
Good Grief Doug, Your quote “I’m not sure why you would need to use the girls bathroom” “all the girls that I knew in H.W. carried a little box of tissue” – when was this Doug ?? back with in the 60′s? You are clearly out of touch. Girls don’t carry around a box of tissue. New schools should be above and beyond anything before – and stocked with all needed supplies. It is not the teacher’s job to monitor or pay for out of their own pocket supplies. You have an answer for everything don’t you? – jeesh!
Like or Dislike: 4 1
Let’s see! Three years of economic decline, could that be also part of this. No aid from the state and programs by the feds that are mandated but not paid for. Get rid of Obama and things will get better for everyone.
Hot debate. What do you think? 23 32
Karen, I agree with you, but we are not going to get a whole lot of support from the democratic arrowhead region. Our country is in a huge financial mess, and they need to get the books in order, start paying for things that are important like education, and stop all the useless spending and borrowing.
Like or Dislike: 18 8
“About $4.5 million is annually transferred out of the general fund into the debt service fund for the long-range facilities plan, with the expectation that it’s replenished when properties are sold. That didn’t happen last year.” – Finally they admit that they are transferring 4.5 million PER YEAR OUT OF THE GENERAL FUND TO PAY FOR THE LONG RANGE FACILITIES PLAN. They have been denying for years, even calling Glass and Johnston liars for telling the public this. Remember the “two pots of money” argument they give. saying that you can’t spend General Fund Money on Buildings – Well they have been doing that for years, which is why our classrooms are at 40 despite new buildings because General Fund is supposed to pay for teachers and supplies and Building Fund money for Buildings but the Red Plan costs so much, and poor planning and greedy Johnson Controls that they have been transferring this money all along and denying it. Any reporter could have seen this and chose to believe what they were told by the Board long ago. What happens when the buildings are all sold? The 4.5 or 5 million dollar transfer from General Fund to Buildings Fund is set to go for the entire 20 years and you only have so many buildings to sell. So you see, no matter how much money you give them, they will need more for years to come.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 43 7
Let me explain once again. As part of the LRFP there are operational savings that come from not operating the closed buildings. (about a million and a half for central, about a million for Ordean and over half a million for each grade school) As part of the funding package for the LRFP, it was decided to direct those “savings” to paying for the plan so the overall size of the bonds being paid for by your property taxes would be lower.
Or, look at it this way. Let’s say you own a 1972 Chrysler New Yorker that gets 8 miles per gallon and are paying $200 a month for gasoline. You decide to buy a new car that gets 40 MPG. If you drive the same amount, your fuel costs will go from $200 a month to $40 a month. It makes sense to say you are directing that saved $160 a month toward the new car payment.
That’s what the general fund transfer amounts to.
Like or Dislike: 4 8
That’s typical screwel board f’d-up thinking. Sure we can save $160 in gas but we need to make the $600.00 a month car payment to achieve that savings. Your kind of defective thinking would “save” that new car purchaser right into bankrupcy, just like the Red Ink plans’ savings are saving the taxpayers right into bankrupcy and forclosure.
Like or Dislike: 9 3
Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.
Well, your kind of thinking would have left our children in unsafe schools that cost more to operate than they are worth.
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 1 11
Hey Doug: Here’s a word to add to your vocabulary. I know to you it is an alien concept but many of us have heard of it…”remodeling”. It means take what you have and update it and improve it. The concept is one many homeowners live by because we can’t rob from our neighbors to build new, as the corrupt board did.
Like or Dislike: 2 1
If anyone is really shocked by this, I have a 2 million dollars in a bank account in Nigeria. Email me for details.
I have a solution, but I know it will lead to thumbs down from all of the DFL’s that click, but don’t comment.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 29 11
And stupid moves by the screwel board like selling Lincoln Park school for ONE DOLLAR really helps, doesn’t it? The whole corrupt Red Ink plan with it’s no-competitive-bid process awarding the contract to Johnson controls, the unmaterialized savings promised to voters to try to garner support for the corrupt Red Ink plan, and now the screwel board needs money but they buy then sit on houses they don’t need and they give away school buildings. Is there anyone in Duluth who doesn’t by now realize that the screwel board is totally incompetent?
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 34 13
But yet the residents of Duluth keep voting for these clowns. Heck isn’t even Duluth, it is all over.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 31 5
You speak as if votes actually mean something when in reality, they don’t. The voting/democratic process exists solely to make the ham and eggers believe they have input when in fact they don’t. This is true in regards to the school board, the duluth clowncil and every other voted position including the presidency of the united states.
Hot debate. What do you think? 20 17
You are right. Todays voters can’t, or won’t, think for themselves when it comes to chosing a candidate. Todays voting lemmings vote the way their granddad did or the way their dad did or the way their union tells them to vote. Certain groups will vote en-masse based solely upon superficial charactoristics. Based upon these parameters used by todays non-thinking lemmings I’m sure if he pandered to the special interest groups like unions and minorities, even the devil himself could get elected. Oh wait. he did…and he got elected as president.
Hot debate. What do you think? 17 24
Either the truth hurts, or the folks are the union hall are having a field day bringing that comment down.
Like or Dislike: 14 13
Thanks Nessopotamian. Special interest groups don’t like a big spotlight shining on their underhanded misdeeds. The truth must be burried fast so the lemmings don’t catch on.
Like or Dislike: 8 7
Selling Central would be a mistake. Too many good things, that can be used by citizens, all ready there. The property should be retained for recreational and other uses by the city.
Like or Dislike: 20 6
Duluth has 203 Homeless students…that means Homeless families. Duluth has a shortage of affordable housing….Why cant Central be used for housing? Housing is more important than athletics!
Like or Dislike: 8 11
203 homeless students only equates to about 40 homeless families though…
Like or Dislike: 1 7
Why sell the Central High School land? It is prime real estate. ISD 709 should hold onto it and lease it out….make some money off of some entity willing to put something up on the land.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 21 4
Today the students who must wait 1 hour plus for the bus were told they can’t be in the fancy new atrium/commons area.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 19 1
So they made them stand out in the cold? What the heck is wrong with these people? Sounds like theyre precious atrium/commons area is more important than the kids! Just what was this school built for? Apparently not for the kids and learning.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 17 1
Mark, could you clarify the last post. Many of us have no idea what is happening at these new schools that every person is paying for. What do you mean about students can’t wait in the commons areas? Please clarify. After reading Troy’s post (earlier, on the toner & toilet paper, and Mark’s post) I am beginning to wonder what is going on in the schools. Please elaborate.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 21 2
Its been the same for decades. How much longer will people wait to get informed, vote for the right candidates and run the system the way it should be? I repeat for the umpteenth time, around 80% of most school districts’ expenses are in salaries and benefits, and OPEB. Take an axe to these in a way that doesn’t affect teaching basic reading, writing and math and the savings will materialize out of “thin air”. Why are these folks disproportionately insulated from what is affecting the rest of us?
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 24 1
Sorry, Alot of students must wait an hour for the school bus at East, they told them they cant use the commons/ atrium or whatever they call it.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 17 0
School Board has been bragging that those Atriums are wonderful gathering places, Now they won’t allow the students to hang out there when waiting?
Are we supposed to feel sorry for this school board who with the full support of this paper forced their massively expensive Red Plan on a city that can’t afford it without allowing them a vote on it? Now they find they have no money for books, teachers and desks, toner and toilet paper. Surprise, surprise.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 20 1
Also we should not forget that the promised 5 million year in savings by JCI has yet to be seen. (don’t hold your breath) Good thing we had that performance guarantee in Johnson Control’s contract huh? (note the sarcasm) – No, look to the signatures on the original contract – JCI promised the moon, Dixon shook hands with the Devil, and our gullible and greedy School Board, who all had their own wish list and agendas, followed along like love sick teenagers. Well the honeymoon is over and as predicted by the watchdogs, there’s brand new buildings surrounded by traffic problems, classrooms of 40 students and shortages of supplies for our teachers. And the people just voted back in Board member Judy SP (a big part of the problem) and two other ‘s that think just like the Board that got us into this mess. Go figure.
What the heck are you talking about?
The $5 million/year savings projected had nothing to do with the efficiency of the buildings only with the reduced operating costs related to closing of buildings and consolodation. To suggest otherwise is either from ignorance, or you are intentionally making false stateements.
There should be operational savings, but to my knowledge the district has not worked up the numbers nor has the board asked.
I would like to see a compaison of gas/electric/water bills from Sept – Dec 2010 and Sep – Dec 2011 for Old vs. New Lester, Old vs. New Laura Mac, Old Lincoln Park and Old Piedmont vs. New Piedmont.
I’d also like to see numbers for the high schools, You could compare last year at Central to this year at Denfeld and last year at Old east to this year at new east.
Like or Dislike: 2 6
Ah, Doug, interestingly enough the District has denied this for years. They said they would save 5 million a year in efficiencies for closing the buildings – the numbers were worked and it was clear there was going to be no where near 5 million in savings. When the opposition pointed out that the District’s “savings” were not “efficiencies” but actually savings from all those jobs lost (after they called themselves a “stimulus” plan for the city) – then they denied that more than a handful would lose their jobs. That was what they did, they spent all the money on buildings, cut neighborhood schools and cut out over a hundred jobs to pay for the new, fewer schools. All the bragging about more efficient furnaces, LEED certification etc, doesn’t add up to any savings comparatively to the loss of positions and now, because of all those positions lost, you have 40 kids per classroom in these brand new schools. Don’t expect the Board to release those comparison figures of gas/electric/ water any time soon (never) because it would not justify the financial debt of the Red Plan. Go ahead and ask your buddies on the Board to publicly release those figures – not going to happen.
Like or Dislike: 2 0
Johnson Controls, Dixon and this school board orchestrated the biggest taxpayer rip off in state history. This is just the beginning of money problems that will plague this city and school district for the next 20 plus years. Get ready for a lot of hand wringing, sobbing and crying.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 20 0
If you voted to elect AND re-elect board members who you knew supported the Red Plan, you forfeited your right to complain about the consequences.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 17 2
I also voted to increase the per pupil funding. Which does give me the right to say “told ya so!”
I’ve also heard of no proposal from any board member (I’m looking at you Mr. Glass and Mr. Johnston) or any of the candidates who ran in the last two cycles that would address these funding issues without a tax increase.
Like or Dislike: 5 9
Too bad the screwel board spent themselves into such a predicament. A little common sense and a dash of honesty during the planning of the Red Ink plan would have reaped huge support now when the screwel board needs it, but sadly, common sense was as severely lacking as was ethics, scruples and honesty in the concocting of the Red Ink plan.
The screwel board made their bed, now they can lay on it.
Like or Dislike: 8 2
The only dishonesty I’ve seen has come from the folks who use phrases like “screwel board” and “red ink plan”.
Like or Dislike: 3 10
In spending taxpayers money on the corrupt Red Ink plan, the screwel board exemplified the principal of “spending like they were n-rich”.
Like or Dislike: 6 2
Compared to other recent school building projects in the state, how exactly is the LRFP out of line?
The only thing unusual about the LRFP was its sheer size. But that was only because the district had to deal with almost 40 years of defered maintainence. As far as money being spent on individual buildings we didn’t over buy and we got what we paid for.
Like or Dislike: 1 9
I decided to build a new house for all my friends and relatives. My backup fund dwindled to. Jeesh.
Like or Dislike: 15 4
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