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Duluth Voters Narrowly Reject Public School Referendum Again

Duluth Voters Narrowly Reject Public School Referendum Again

May 15, 2024 2:06 PM CDT

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Duluth voters went to the ballot box on Tuesday to once again narrowly reject a $5.2 million public school referendum.

The referendum question was the same one that was proposed on the November ballot just a few months ago. The measure failed in November by about 300 votes, leading officials to propose the question again hoping for a different result.

On Tuesday, Duluth voters rejected the referendum once again, this time by about 450 votes out of over 10,000 votes cast.

If the referendum had passed, it would have given the Duluth Public School District $5.2 million each year for the next 10 years. Some of the funding would have gone towards classroom technology, digital infrastructure, and security measures.

To pay for the referendum, property taxes in the district would have risen by about $10 per month for a home worth $300,000.

With the failure of the referendum’s second attempt, Duluth Public School District officials say they will likely be forced to make program and staff cuts at the schools. Without the additional funding, the district needs to reduce its budget by over $2.5 million for next school year. Officials are also disappointed that they won’t be able to give teachers the tools they need to best educate their students.

Many school districts across Wisconsin have been forced to turn to referendum questions on the ballot for needed funding. During this past April Election, 85 school districts across the state proposed referendum questions to their communities. 57 of 93 total school referendum questions passed.

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