Rebutting the Decorah School Board discussion

By Tessia Wangsness, Decorah

Dear Editor:

I’m writing as a follow up to the DCSD board meeting Monday, Dec. 11, 2023. A review of the Mabel-Canton Student Enrollment Agreement was on the agenda for discussion, points made by members during their “review” were not open to rebuttal from the public, so I’ll do so now…

Five years ago, it was made clear there were no intentions of renewing this agreement, as asserted that “anyone who chooses to send their kids North is taking a significant risk”. DCSD legal counsel drafted the contract, explicitly stating “unless renewed on or before January 15, 2024”. If the intention was for the agreement to end without discussion, why include that clause?

The board emphasized its fiscal responsibility for DCSD finances, which is acknowledged. However, it is misleading to suggest that retaining this agreement is costing the district money. Its funding they are not currently capitalizing upon. Funds provided by state and property taxes we pay as Iowa DCSD residents.

Lastly, Ron Fadness belittling the survey of over 350 DCSD residents was incredibly hurtful. This was a public survey, open and encouraged to be completed by anyone in the DCSD and circulated on social media publicly for anyone to access. In fact, we requested that it be shared on Decorah Community Schools Facebook page and were denied. If he is condescending to your opinion on this issue, what makes you think he is going to give your voice any merit on the next topic? I encourage you to remind all the DCSD board members just who it is they work for the next time they ask for more of your hard-earned money.

These kids aren’t “freight” but human beings that should be treated with respect and dignity.

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