Dear Mr. Welty,

Thank you for your reply (the only one received, so far). If I had four
million to spare, I'd certainly be inclined to share! Since I don't, I did
support the levy, encouraging people I know to also vote for it. Yes, it is
a shame it failed.

And yes, I also realize that St. Paul has not provided the support we all
had hoped for. On the other hand, Duluth continues to feel the harm done by the district's support of the Edison Schools project, as well as the loss of students to private schools (I see from a recent article that enrollment in the various private schools has steadily climbed the past few years).

I have done my best to keep abreast of what the board and the administration have been doing these past 12-18 months, and am usually not vocal beyond my kids' individual schools. It has just gotten to the point that very serious measures are being taken which, as I said, seem to "nickel and dime" the problem.

I, as should be obvious by now, do support a larger effort to save money
through consolidation of schools and services. Especially, I support your
measure for closing a high school. Further, I believe it would be even more beneficial to consolidate all three high schools into one Duluth Senior High! While it would start off huge, even beyond my own comfort, it would shrink to a more reasonable size as the smaller underclasses start filtering up.

Of course, this leads to new capital expenditures for creating a suitable
campus to house such a large student body... more $$$$, more problems?

I certainly don't envy any of you, and I don't want to sound like I have the
answers (I don't). But I am definitely not liking where things are going
and see things only getting worse as people get fed up and pull more kids out of 709 and into other options.

I guess the Board really is an "easy target", but my comments aren't aimed just at you all. Rather, they are targeted for the administration, the
school staff, and even all us parents. Everyone needs to get creative, cut
waste and still keep the quality education there for our kids.

Edina has a lot more money than Duluth. That certainly could be one way
they counteract the degradation of education due to a six day period. I
don't know, for sure, but I'd rather not compare apples and oranges. I will
certainly stay involved with my kid's education (mostly in there schools),
as I am not one who usually speaks out to the "wider audience". I will,
however, continue to "watch from the sidelines" and respond as needed.

Thanks for listening, answering and fighting. Although I don't always agree
with your tactics (from past meetings I've watched), I certainly do support
your creativity and sincerity for doing what is best.