The Great Leap Backward 

At the end of five hours of testimony, questions, and hand wringing the School Board declined to vote for one of the "easy" fixes to our looming $4.8 million deficit. It voted not to accept the proposed six hour day it had directed the Administration to draw up.  The six hour day had come under heavy fire from people convinced that that a seven period "hour" day was the ticket to a good college, never mind that Edina sends 90% of its children on to college on a 6 hour day to our 60% with a 7 hour day.

Bob Mars grumbled that it had been six wasted hours. I couldn't blame him.  The board basically threw out the very assumptions we spent an hour reiterating early on in the meeting.  Everyone, except me, mostly said they were good assumptions. However, when it came time to make a decision, four hours later, the assumptions proved to be a colossal inconvenience. Good bye $1.2 million in cost reductions.

At the end of the meeting I suggested to the Board that they had better hope a two-high school scheme would save them a million dollars because they didn't have many other alternatives. As I put my coat on to leave a knowledgeable person offered to take me out to dinner once the District reached SOD (bankruptcy) in ten years. I said it might only take three years and that I would enjoy the meal. This puts more pressure on us to close elementary schools.

Before tonight's Committee of the Whole meeting, the School Board had met in closed session for two long hours to discuss contract negotiations. After tonight's retreat from fiscal reality we'll be more desperate than ever.  Fasten your seatbelts. Its going to be a bumpy ride.

Here's the News Tribune's recap. 

Here's the DFT President's response to our attempt at cost cutting.