Letting Fall Lake break away from Lake Superior School District only makes sense

This is an argument that is filled with common sense but lacking much of an opportunity for it to happen without action in St. Paul.
Fall Lake Township needs to become part of the Ely School District for one reason alone: That’s where kids who live in the township go to school.
A passionate plea on this issue was made by state lawmakers last week to get Fall Lake out of the Lake Superior School District, which just approved another bond that will raise taxes for another 20 years when they would have gone down otherwise.
“We’re hoping a common sense solution can be found,” said Sheila Gruba at Monday’s Joint Powers Legislative meeting in Ely.
While Fall Lake abuts Ely’s boundaries and more than 40 children who reside there open enroll into the Ely district, a geographical quirk places the township in the Lake Superior district and property taxes go to fund schools in that district.
“It does not make sense,“ said Gruba, who asked lawmakers, including State Sen. Tom Bakk (I) and State Rep. Rob Ecklund (D) to help the township “find a way to detach from (Lake Superior) and be part of the Ely district.”
Gruba’s pleas appeared to fall on deaf ears as both Ecklund and Bakk said they understood the problem but indicated not much could be changed. Bakk asked Gruba to have the two school boards come to an agreement.
Bakk knows this is not gonna happen. Lake Superior School District has a cash cow in Fall Lake and they’re not going to raise taxes on other property owners by letting the northernmost township go with Ely.
Fall Lake taxpayers pay 17 percent of the tax bill in Lake County yet receive nothing in return.
If the township were to be annexed into the Ely district, not only would Fall Lake residents have a say in district operations but most importantly Fall Lake Township dollars would go to the school system where our children attend.
Last month, district voters passed a $44 million referendum that calls for improvements to school buildings at both Two Harbors and Silver Bay.
That referendum was approved despite failing 210-8 in Fall Lake.
Interestingly enough, it was a lawmaker from outside the region who offered Fall Lake residents some hope on Monday.
State Rep. Kurt Daudt (R), the House Minority Leader, indicated that the legislature has the authority to remedy the issue.
“We write the laws,” said Daudt.
There’s the solution. Bakk and Ecklund are in a no-win battle trying to remedy this with both schools in their voting districts. Maybe it’s time to ask legislators like Daudt to do what Bakk and Ecklund can’t or won’t do. Right what is wrong.