Duluth School Board authorizes 2 November referendum questions

19 July 2023

DULUTH The Duluth School Board voted unanimously Tuesday evening to authorize the addition of two referendum questions to Duluth ballots this November.

The referendums posed by the district include an educational technology funding plan initiative and a bond restructuring referendum, according to a news release from the Duluth Public Schools.

The technology initiative aims to “equip students, teachers, and staff with the tools and resources necessary to thrive in the digital age,” according to the news release. The district also claims it would help implement a new high school schedule, focused on student academic and mental health needs, increasing graduation rates and college, career and community readiness.

The bond restructuring referendum aims to optimize financial resources, reduce debt burdens and allocate funds more efficiently to support the district’s long-term goals.

“We have been putting our financial house in order and want to keep it that way,” said Superintendent John Magas. “Our fund balance is healthy, leading to an improved bond rating and reasonable financial cushion. Remember, a few short years ago our fund balance was nearly non-existent.”

If voters approve the referendum, a $200,000 homeowner in Duluth would pay $1.78 more in taxes per week which equates to roughly $92.55 per year.

“By lifting the financial burden placed on our budget due to having no replacement cycle for technology, we will be able to continue to invest in interventionists, counselors and other student supports critical to their success,” Magas said in the release. “If we do not ask for a referendum we will not be able to move forward with improvements to the high school schedule to improve on student outcomes and increase graduation rates, both of which have disproportionate outcomes for historically underserved students.”

Residents can expect to see the two referendum questions listed on the ballot during November’s general election.


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