When I read this Our View editorial, my first reaction was that of disgust. The Times has tried to portray itself as object, as allies of ‘the people’. That fa├žade disappeared when they wrote about setting a revote on the Tech-Apollo bonding referendum for this spring.

When they wrote that “a huge turnout expected in presidential election years may not enhance the chances for a school referendum to pass”, the Times essentially said that the right outcome was more important than giving the people the right to make informed decisions based on information gathered during meetings where the school board took questions and answered them on point. If the school board doesn’t answer the people’s questions directly, then citizens should continue to defeat the bonding referendum.

BTW, giving platitude-filled answers doesn’t constitute answering the citizens’ questions. That’s deception, which isn’t tolerated. The citizens have a right to know more of the specifics about the building that would be built with their money. When Barclay Carriar admitted that “80 percent of [the new Tech HS] isn’t going to be designed until after the referendum”, he essentially told voters that they should approve the bonds without knowing what they’d get.

Carriar is an “adviser with Ameriprise Financial and co-chair of Neighbors for School Excellence.” Think of adviser Neighbors for School Excellence as the DFL’s Vote Yes campaign organization for pushing the bonding referendum down voters’ throats. It’s important to remember that the bonding referendum was defeated in November because the School Board tried getting their referendum passed without answering voters’ questions.

That time, with the bonding referendum being the only thing on the ballot, voters rejected the proposal by an 8,460 to 7,393 vote margin. That 53.4% of the people voted to reject the proposal is a major upset.

Supporters and district campaign materials first cited a 10-year maintenance tab of $140 million at Tech. However, as the Election Day neared, credible evidence arose to question it. Yet supporters and even district leaders remain tight-lipped to this day about its validity.

That was a major nail in the School Board’s coffin. That wasn’t the only thing, though, that people questioned. They also questioned whether the buildings both needed to have a capacity of 1,800 students, especially considering the fact that there are 2,700 students in Tech and Apollo right now.

The chances of ISD742 increasing enrollment by one-third over the next 20-50 years is approximately zero. The school board tried convincing their constituents that writing the school board a blank check based on a platitude-filled campaign.

That measure went down in flames.

2 Responses to “Exposing the Times’ anti-democracy bias”

  • Jethro says:

    Let’s face it…the Times is not an ally to the people as we’ve repeatedly seen for quite some time now. I find it interesting and quite accurate that the chances of 742’s enrollments going up by a third over the next 20-50 years as zero. I also find it interesting that SCSU’s enrollment drop is pretty close to 1/3. A mere coincidence Gary or is St. Cloud having problems? Clearly, many of the leaders are either in denial or have their heads in the sand.

  • Dave Steckling says:

    More likely enrollment will continue to decline. Last year alone, 1,600 students left district 742 to surrounding schools. The student aide lost to 742 was nine million dollars! Minority
    integration of refugees with third grade education into the same classrooms as urban American born students has had a deleterious affect on scholastic standardized tests scores. Any parent in their right mind would want their children’s school experience to be without handicaps. Leaving the district will be ongoing and there will be NO NEED for a new high school!

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