Monday, March 24, 2008 By Aaron Brown
Today, an important meeting will shape the future of one Range district. Greenway schools serve Bovey, Coleraine and other small towns on the western edge of the Mesabi Iron Range. The district is in Statutory Operating Debt and faces the expiration of several major bonding levies all within the next few years. Maybe you've heard of districts seeking operational levies in your part of the state? Well, Greenway is going to be staging a bond issue that will determine whether or not the district will survive. If this one fails, they will be done for.
From Britta Arendt's story in the Sunday Grand Rapids Herald-Review (reprinted across the Range in the Hibbing and Mesabi newspapers):
At a meeting with Greenway staff on Thursday, Superintendent Rochelle VanDenHeuvel said that, without referendum dollars, severe budget cuts would be necessary. She said it’s probable that elective courses at the middle and high school would be eliminated; all day/every day kindergarten would be eliminated; all extra-curricular activities would be eliminated; up to 20 staff positions would be eliminated; administration would be reduced; class sizes would rise as high as 45 at the middle and high school and 35 in the elementary school, and; the school board would need to consider cooperation or consolidation with other school districts, or dissolution of the Greenway School District.
A community meeting to discuss the referendum further will be held in the Greenway High School Auditorium at 5 p.m. Monday.