I attended a MACCRAY school board meeting October 14. The MACCRAY school board passed a resolution on a five to one vote authorizing a special election on January 7, 2014 to put to the voters of MACCRAY School District 2180, the proposal to pass a bonding bill for $20 million dollars for the purpose of building a new elementary school in Clara City, then to close the elementary schools in Maynard and Raymond.
I am writing this letter in opposition to this resolution. My memories of Maynard, Clara City, Raymond are working toward cooperation and collaboration agreement in 1989, climax with an agreement to consolidate as MACCRAY in 1994.
The Minn. Dept. of Education was involved. Clara City was unable to continue because of debt and being in the red. Clara City was unable to pass a funding referendum. Maynard and Raymond each had good financial fund balances. Because of Maynard’s and Raymond’s strong financial condition, all three schools were allowed to move forward with consolidation.
It was decided that elementary schools stay in the towns of Maynard and Raymond. Maynard elementary students would go to the Maynard school. Raymond elementary students would go to the Raymond school. Clara City elementary students would be divided to the Maynard elementary school and the Raymond elementary school. All high school students would go to the Clara City High School. Maynard, Clara City and Raymond citizens bought into this agreement. Compromise was at work for this settlement.
Since 1994 the very rural edges of MACCRAY have been supportive for levy and funding requirements. Not only the rural, also the communities of Maynard and Raymond support the MACCRAY school system. They have been very committed to its success.
When we who are committed to our home towns, Maynard and Raymond, and then are told not to be so committed to our home towns and schools, it does not fit very well. It alienates us from our support of the original agreement. We become uncomfortable and resist. The agreement we put together in our consolidation was agreed by all three schools and it works well.
Let’s bring our school buildings up to code just like was done in Clara City in 2013 and move on.
The end result will be compromise and will keep our MACCRAY School District 2180 operating in peace.
Kenneth F. Koenen