Duluth Public Schools referendum fails

Technology referendum fails for the second time in Duluth

The Duluth School District weighs in on what's next after the technology referendum failed.

Residents of Duluth Public Schools rejected a referendum on Tuesday that sought to provide $5.2 million annually for learning technology, digital curriculum, cybersecurity, career and technical education equipment, and other technology-related resources.

As of Tuesday night, preliminary vote totals stood at 5,007 in favor and 5,460 against.

“It’s not the outcome we hoped for,” said Superintendent John Magas. “We have some difficult decisions ahead, but our commitment to finding the best solutions for our students is unchanged.”

Back in November, the Duluth Public School district held a referendum on two questions. The first question about expanding digital access did not pass by less than 300 votes. Although voters passed the second ballot question to restructure debt spending. The Future Forward Referendum asked voters if they would be willing to increase property taxes to invest in digital technology.

John Magas, the Superintendent of Duluth Public Schools, said all along that he understands the referendum is a big ask.

“We need to really think about the hands-on jobs we have,” Magas said. “We can start training people while they’re in high school so they’re ready for the career force once they graduate.”

To hear more about on what Superintendent John Magas had to say on the technology referendum, head to the GMN Page of our website.

The proposed capital project levy authorization would have raised approximately $5.2 Million in taxes for the first year. It’s to be levied, and would be authorized for ten years. The estimated total cost of the projects to be funded over that time period is approximately $52 Million. The additional revenue from the proposed capital project levy authorization would have provided funds for devices, improved technology, digital infrastructure and training.

For other stories with the Duluth Public School District you can read more here.