Superintendent Update

Dear Hermantown Parents,

I have received a number of emails recently challenging mask requirements in school and quarantine rules for our students. Another superintendent spoke up at a recent meeting and stated they were not planning to follow the quarantine guidelines next fall. We were told then that the state could take our license for not following mandates, which is not something we are willing to risk.

Next fall, aside from some choices for grades 11 and 12 to take hybrid classes, we do not plan to offer distance learning at Hermantown. However, distance learning is currently mandated by the state. If you have strong opinions about school mandates and what you want next fall, I encourage you to let your voice be heard by reaching out to the following contacts:

Commissioner of Education

Governor Walz

Congressman Stauber

House of Representatives

As long as I'm on a roll about contacting people ... This week we were notified of the latest federal dollars that were allocated for schools to help with COVID relief. The dollars given were based on poverty - and there are HUGE discrepancies. For example: Esko received $180, Hermantown $571, Duluth $3,792 and St. Paul $9,267 per pupil. This money has restrictions on how it can be spent, but my point is - how can it cost that much more for COVID relief for a student in St. Paul? The federal government has left it up to the state's discrepancy for the remaining 9.5% of federal funding. I have asked the state to attempt to use the remaining 9.5% to even out the discrepancies the federal government created.

 Here is a map outlining how funds were allocated: Allocation of Federal Funding.

 The current house version of the budget has 88 new mandates for schools, but has a 2% increase for schools with a .5% increase for inflation. The senate version offers a 0% increase for schools, but has fewer mandates. We are lobbying for local control (fewer mandates) and a 2% increase on the formula. The senate is offering 0%, because they believe that we received federal dollars. (This might be true if you are St. Paul.)

Many decisions will be made in the next three weeks, so now is the time to reach out and share your stories. We look forward to all Hermantown students coming back full time next fall.


Wayne Whitwam