Voting open for Duluth Referendums on Mental Health and Tech

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There are possible rising property taxes with Duluth Public School referendum asking residents to support students. The school district is asking residents to consider looking at raising property taxes through a referendum.

Superintendent John Magas, said Covid-19 relief money is expiring, and the school district is trying to gather more funds for technology investments. “We want to prepare our students for the future, and having the technology we need is a critical point for that,” Magas said. “It funds our devices, software and other technology infrastructure that alleviates pressure on the general fund.”

Superintendent Magas also said if the referendum fails then the school district will face a budget deficit. “The state has provided funding for our schools, but the state only provides 75% of the funding needed in the community, and the community comes up with 25% additional that supports us.” Magas said.

Parker Huber, a Digital Innovation Specialist also said the lack of modern technology access is impacting students and teachers. “It is imperative that we initiate and fund a technology program to enable teachers to use their time more effectively and promote collaborative learning between students. Our desktop computers and audio visual devices are aging out. Many of them are at the point where their functionality is limited, preventing teachers from being able to do their job in the classroom.”

Eve Hessler, the principal of Lowell Elementary School said closing the digital divide for students is essential to helping their future academic careers. “We want our students to be digitally equipped for the futures. We and we all know technology isn’t cheap. Our students, teachers and families want to see technology used in effective and healthy ways that prepare them for later success.”

Superintendent Magas said the possible rising property taxes from the Duluth Public School referendum would bring new technology for schools as soon as next year. “We would not go to the community and ask for a tax increase unless we felt it was really vital for our students.”

For more information about the possible rising property taxes you can read more here. For other stories happening with Duluth Public Schools you can read more here.