Forum Offers Duluth Public Schools Update

A Forum Hosted by the Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce Included Superintendent Bill Gronseth, District Chief Financial Officer Doug Hasler

DULUTH, Minn. – The Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce gave those involved in the Duluth School District a chance to voice concerns and hear some answers Tuesday morning.

Coffee cups and curious community members filled the dining space of Valentini’s restaurant on London Road.

“As we address our budget, as we address a strategic plan moving forward, we all need to be part of that conversation,” said Superintendent Bill Gronseth.

Chamber President David Ross welcomed Superintendent Gronseth and the District Chief Financial Officer Doug Hasler to head the conversation.

District financial challenges were a big focus of the event.

FOX 21 News spoke with a first grade teacher who retired nearly six months ago because of concerns about the school district’s future.

“I loved my job for 40 years, I had some good years left in me, but I just couldn’t deal with the administrative part where we would tell them over and over again what the issues are and nothing was ever resolved, It was getting almost impossible to try and deal with those issues,” said former teacher Leah Klein.

Superintendent Gronseth says he’s encouraging more deep conversations within schools, at home and throughout the community.

Other key points discussed included compensatory funding, increasing expenses, class size and declining enrollment.

“The schools belong to our community, and if we want our kids to be successful, all of our kids to be successful, it’s going to take all of us coming together and we have to decide what we want as a community,” said Gronseth. “We need to look at what opportunities we want for our kids.”

Right now the district’s referendum is sunsetting which means come fall, the community will once again vote on a new plan to fund the schools throughout the 2019-2020 school year.

In March, the district will host a series of “Think Kids” meetings.

The meetings are open to the public and will be announced at a later date.

 

 

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