Duluth Public School District hosts a referendum session

Duluth voters can expect two school-related questions on the ballot this November, impacting the future of Duluth Public Schools.

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“One is based on technology, we had devices that we’re able to purchase with the pandemic funding that we were able to have more technology in the district that is about to go away, as are the fundings for a lot of our academic supports, like our math interventionists and our reading interventionists and mental health supports like counselors and social workers,” said John Magas, Superintendent at Duluth Public School District.

If passed, the referendums would provide nearly 8 million dollars for academic and mental health support, improvements to secondary education planning and programming, and boosting technology used in the classroom. “One is supporting every student. The other is advancing equity, and the third is improving systems. What we found is when we had this temporary funding from the government to focus on unfinished learning, it gave us the resources we needed to focus on the technology needs, the academic needs, and the mental health needs of our students.

Parents like middle and high school mom and Duluth Chamber of Commerce Lindsay Kern were able to ask questions and share their own thoughts about how these referendums could change their children’s education. “So really meeting the demands of the community, really meeting the demand of the students and meeting their needs post-pandemic. So, now that those COVID relief dollars are ending, those needs that have been identified through the pandemic must be continued and grown.”

“Future Forward” is the theme here, a multi-stage plan with wide impact. “We do need to all spend some time educating ourselves about what this referendum means, what it’s asking for, and what it’s looking for. In addition, what the goals are, what the outcomes are, and what those measurables are. I think those are all such important things that we need to be able to ensure that we have an understanding of to be able to go and vote in an educated way,” Kern mentions.

Early voting is open right now, so you can cast your ballot on these referendum questions now if you would like, otherwise, Election Day is Tuesday, November 7th.