Letter: 834 Voice offer is a bad deal for school district

To the editor:

834 Voice’s settlement offer to ISD 834 is a bad deal for the school district, and a very bad deal for our children.

In exchange for dropping litigation that they have as close to zero chance of winning as is imaginable, 834 Voice wants the District to keep open unneeded elementary schools for two years at a cost to the district of a couple of million dollars in extra expenses. In addition, the district must agree to keep open enrollment for Withrow and Oak Park elementary schools. In other words, 834 Voice wants to take $2 million out of our classrooms so people who live outside of ISD 834 can still open enroll.

That is an exceptionally bad deal for our children. Especially at a time when we have a serious over-crowding problem in our secondary classrooms. 834 Voice is offering nothing but deprivation of educational opportunities for our children.

By insisting on open enrollment 834 Voice has tipped its cards about who some of the people who are controlling 834 Voice are. Remember, the incorporator of 834 Voice is a person who does not live in our District. It seems outside interests want to deny educational opportunities for our children through an inefficient allocation of scarce tax dollars so their special interests can be met.

Carl Blondin

  • zulu7

    About 57% of those that voted in 5/15 approved the bond referendum. A similar percentage were against the district’s plan to alter those bond promises by closing three schools in the district’s own survey. An even higher percentage of voters (with a much larger sample size) expressed this same anti-BOLD sentiment in the fall school board election. If you believe in math, these numbers don’t lie. The settlement deal offered by 834VOICE simply asks the district to do what they promised voters in exchange for our generous $100 million tax dollar donation. The Long-Range Facilities Committee met for a year formulating the plan to implement the bond funds. This is the plan MDE and voters approved, not the secret, overly-political, poorly-thought out, rushed proposal from an inexperienced administrative team. We wouldn’t be in this situation had the new superintendent just implemented the bond the way the prior administration had designed. Instead, she and her accomplices went rogue with our tax dollars throwing the public’s trust down the toilet.

    • Carl Blondin

      Dear Ms. brave Zulu7 who will not use her/his real name: So if I understand you correctly you want the District to proceed with the financially irresponsible deficit spending planned by the previous administration that will result in even more overcrowding in secondary classrooms and the loss of important academic programs? Am I missing something?

  • Shannon Pohl Bryant

    Carl has very deep issues with anyone that has association with Voice 834.
    He doesn’t care the school district is going to add on to Brookview to “accomodate the children in that neighborhood.” Says he has no issue with non-resident open enrollment, but his rhetoric shows he has issue with supporters of Voice 834 that open enroll their children in to the district. He won’t even touch or respond to the amount of high executive salaries in the school district administration, or all the funding being diverted away from students and to outside special interest groups (EMID, DMC, MSBA, 3 of many). Carl never attended a pre-sales bond meeting at Withrow Elementary, he has no idea what the school district promised or what representations where made to parents before the $97.5 million bond vote. Carl’s only answer is to close community elementary schools that have successfully served children of the school district for over 50 years.

    • Carl Blondin

      Dear Mr. Bryant: If you were paying attention at the last two Truth in Taxation meetings in ISD 834 you would recall that I called for a reduction in spending on central administration. If I understand you correctly you want ISD 834 to spend less money on teachers and educational programs so ISD 834 can keep open an unneeded elementary school that you can open enroll tour children into from the Mahtomedi school district. You sound like the real special ininterest group to me.

  • Gary Horning

    OK Ms. Bryant, we all know the elementary schools have too much capacity. If you don’t want the schools closed, what is your plan to increase enrollment to fill up the schools? Ms. Stivland at the debate said now is a great time to increase enrollment, but I have yet to see anything from her on this subject. Does 834 Voice have a plan to do this, or are you just blowing a lot of hot air. As for ZULU7, what kind of a name is that. Sounds like some tribe from a Tarzan movie. Another example of 834 Voice members being too much of a coward to identify themselves. The Gazette should reject phonies like that.

    • Bob Katula

      Zulu7 is also “834 Voice” on their Facebook page, aka Zis Weisberg.