To the editor:
On Nov. 14 at 6:30 p.m. in the Carlton High School Small gym, a meeting will be held to discuss non-voter-approved levy improvements of up to about $14 million for Carlton Public Schools. These levies can occur without voter approval under use categories such as "health and safety" and "abatement."
Now that the Aug. 8 $26 million referendum failed, the majority of the school board will likely seek to take some this money from the taxpayers forcibly. None of this funding goes to academics, athletics or curriculum. Strictly facilities.
That is not to say that improvements are not needed, because they are. The question for me is, as it has always been, how is the best value delivered? Is it spending up to $9 million on the old Carlton High School?
Once again, there is a high school three miles away in Wrenshall that is in better shape. Those dollars could be spent to benefit both Wrenshall district kids and Carlton district kids. The Wrenshall School Board has passed a formal resolution stating they would consolidate with Carlton.
Carlton School Board member Jennifer Chmielewski volunteered to lead a delegation to re-engage Wrenshall's School Board to restart talks. She was denied decisively by her fellow five Carlton board members.
Carlton School District residents, be prepared to pay roughly up to $250 more per year on a $150,000 house. The Carlton School Board that brought you the failed new school referendum (Hagenah, Lehto, Emerson, Karp and Gibson) are doing exactly what they said they would do if they didn't get a new school. They are going to take what funding they can by force.
If you are concerned about this, you might want to attend the meeting. These kids need an improved place to go to school, no doubt. It will cost taxpayers money and is not free — consolidation or not. How scarce dollars are used is of concern.