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ISD 31 Update: Supt. Tim Lutz on masking, TikTok, and the proposed tax referendum

Tim Lutz and Katie Carter.jpg

Bemidji voters will consider a tax referendum supporting local schools Nov. 2nd.

There are roughly three things that districts can do to manage budgets. First… reach out to the state legislature every year… and ask for more support…Another option...make more cuts and we've made more cuts than we've ever made before; there's not much left to cut. So that leaves…the third option, which is to ask for local support… Because, again, inflation has outpaced support from the state, we are in a situation where we predicted even two or three years ago…if we don't receive local support ...we will be about three and a half million dollars behind in our revenue. - Tim Lutz, Bemidji ISD 31 Superintendent

Like more than 40 school districts across Minnesota, ISD 31 in Bemidji is seeking approval of a tax referendum on November 2nd to remedy a previously a predicted budget shortfall that was exacerbated in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. ISD 31 Superintendent Tim Lutz joined the morning show to discuss the referendum, school funding, the budget shortfall, how the district cut $4M in expenses in the past year, the viral TikTok vandalism this fall, and much more.

I still believe that education is the best investment in a community and in our society… I look at it as not a cost, but as an investment. I want 10, 15, 20 years from now to be able to look back and realize that I had a difference in shaping the future through the next generation. And…The great part is our community seems to see it that way and I appreciate that this community supports schools. - Tim Lutz, Bemidji ISD 31 Superintendent

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Katie Carter started at Northern Community Radio in 2008 as Managing Editor of the station's grant-funded, online news experiment Northern Community Internet. Since 2016, she's produced Area Voices showcasing the arts, culture, and history stories of northern Minnesota. She's our local host of NPR's All Things Considered and CBC's As It Happens every weekday from 4-7pm.