Put Children First

Frank Wanner made much of the teacher's taking the "high road" in one of his newsletters. He probably wouldn't want most people to know that the state teachers' union gave a $1,500 contribution to publish this "negative" last minute postcard. The largest contribution permitted under the law is $300. I'm sure that a slap on the wrist and a small fine isn't much of a deterrent to a colossus like Education Minnesota. Neither, evidently, is the law.

The first page of the Postcard shows two young girls studing at a computer and says:

"We know what children need to improve learning..."

The second page of the Postcard compares two slates of candidates by saying:

"Now we need a school board willing to do it.

Look at the Record

Now put kids first
Bob Mars - He claimed at recent forums that Duluth has a 13:1 teacher student ratio and that Board members should not get involved in individual issues that parents raise, voted in 1995 to force schools to choose between either smaller class sizes or art, music and phy-ed teachers, while at the same time he served on the board of a competing private school.

Mary Glass LeBlanc - Voted to close five elementary schools which forced young children to go to schools outside their neighborhood; says we can't afford smaller class sizes, yet last month refused to vote for an additional 1.5 million dollars for the schools.

Mary Cameron - Says we cannot afford smaller class sizes, has used teacher contracts as a wedge issue to divide the community, and will be living in New York for the next year, 1100 miles from the Duluth Public Schools.

These candidates have committed to five points.

Matt Doyle
Rosie Loeffler-Kemp
Mike Akervik

  1. Lowering class sizes based on how many students are in an actual classroom.

  2. Preserving neighborhood schools.

  3. Creating a long range plan that puts children's need as the "bottom-line" and sets budget priorities to achieve our goals.

  4. Increase choice and opportunity within the Duluth Public Schools

  5. Using the public schools to pull the community together rather than divide us.

On November 2 - Let's Put Kids First

This is an independent expenditure not approved by any candidate paid for by the "Put Children First" Committee, Mary Schroeder, Treasurer

My Response

If the candidates (who wanted to put kids first) made all these promises they must have been asleep during the School District's years of financial crises. It was brought about by school board members who wanted to help children so much they spent money they didn't have. Santayana said that: "Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

By comparison the old school board members did have a "record."  They revived the District's finances and brought more programming into the schools that the District could afford. This negative literature was grossly irresponsible, illegally financed, and a cheap shot sent out so late it could not be contradicted. Shame, shame, shame.