Save Grant; have
two high schools
As president of the Duluth City Council, I appreciated the
willingness of the School Board to give the council and the St. Louis County
Board a thorough briefing on the school district's difficulties. I do not envy
the School Board and would not presume to tell members what to do as they face
the possibility of a $4.8 million deficit next year. I wish them well.
Having said this, I have spoken with many Duluth residents and
have arrived at this impression of the community's feelings. Many people feel
that the elementary schools, which remain in Duluth, have become centers for
much more than public education. This is particularly true of Grant School. The
Grant neighborhood would be greatly impoverished by its loss.
Since the eastern end of the East Hillside also face the loss
of Chester Park School, and its remarkable collaboration with UMD, this double
whammy could leave a broad swath of our city crippled in its efforts to attract
I have heard repeatedly from constituents that they believe a
two-high school arrangement is inevitable for Duluth. In fact, even the School
Board has acknowledged that it is only a matter of time before this happens.
Aware that the irrevocable closing of elementary schools could wound our newly
formed planning configuration, I applaud the School Board for considering a
two-high school configuration. If such a configuration proves to be a viable
financial alternative to the loss of multiple elementary schools, it should be