Letter to the editor: He’d pay school bus fareLake Superior School District Superintendent Phil Minkkinen has been quoted that he didn’t know what else could be done when it come to the district budget and the levy questions.
Lake Superior School District Superintendent Phil Minkkinen has been quoted that he didn’t know what else could be done when it come to the district budget and the levy questions. At the public meeting held at William Kelly School in Silver Bay March 8, I offered up several suggestions, including instituting user fees for services provided.
There seemed to be little interest in further exploring those kinds of ideas. Superintendent Minkkinen cited bus transport costs as the single largest potential savings to be realized by a four-day school week, stating that 1,800 students ride the bus district-wide and the 20 percent reduction in route miles would save $75,000 a year. Contrast that with a $150 per student user fee that would generate $270,000 per year – mitigating the entire projected operating budget deficit without eliminating a single day of school.
As a parent of a student that rides the bus to school, I would certainly prefer to pay $150 to $200 per year for that service if it would help offset the projected operating budget deficit and avoid moving to a four-day school week. And I am convinced that other parents would support this as well.
Surely the board would want to further explore these kinds of ideas. Logic follows that if instituting a user fee on a single budget line item like bus service could substantially eliminate the projected deficit, then how much more revenue could be raised via additional user fees?
Are we really ready to start skipping school on Fridays? Are there no more “out of the box” ideas to consider? Does the school board truly believe that moving to a four-day school week is in the best interest of our children and our community?
Let the board know. A simple web site survey has – at no cost to the district - been posted at www.k12381.com. There you will find a link to the district’s web site, a link to take the survey, and another link to view the survey results page. Anyone with internet access can chime in on whether or not they are in favor of moving to a four-day school week. There are also questions concerning child care costs and user fees.
Only one response per computer will be registered. There is no cost to take the survey, nor will you be asked to identify yourself. Please ask your friends and neighbors to take the survey and encourage them to reach out to school board representatives and urge them to review the results.
Don’t let the board make any decision without hearing from you.
From Tom Sullivan