DPS Superintendent John Magas speaks on Technology Referendum Vote

John Magas speaks with GMN on the technology referendum vote

Duluth Public School Superintendent John Magas stopped by the studio to talk about the Future Forward referendum.

John Magas stopped by the studio to discuss the Technology Referendum vote that is happening on Tuesday, May 14. This referendum aims to expand digital access for students. This vote is similar to a referendum that happened in November 2023 which failed by less than 300 votes. The difference with the latest referendum is that it is designated as a capitol project taking place over the next ten years.

This referendum will help prepare students for the future by giving Duluth Public Schools the tools necessary to enter a world centered around technology. This referendum not only focuses on making sure that their Smart Boards, devices, and sound systems are up to date but also focuses on teaching students about cyber security and how to use technology in a safe and appropriate way.

“We chose to do this as a single item election because we didn’t want this information to be lost in a heated presidential election. That is why we are going for this single vote today.”

John Magas, Superintendent for Duluth Public Schools

If the referendum does not pass, it will take away money for one to one devices for most students, it could also phase out Smart Boards in the classrooms. According to Superintendent John Magas, some of their equipment is over 70 years old and their security camera systems are over 17 years old.

Even if this referendum does pass, there will still be multi-million dollar budget cuts over the next two years. This referendum would mitigate those cuts.

This referendum will affect taxpayers depending on the size and assessed value of a house in Duluth. For example, an assessed value house of $315,000, the tax would be about $10.87. Voters can go to the tax calculator on futureforward709.org to get a better idea of how this referendum would affect them.