In 2014, the Range Delegation of the Minnesota legislature laid the foundation for May’s successful levy referendum regarding the collaboration between the Eveleth-Gilbert and Virginia schools. The Delegation’s efforts back in 2014 amended the Production Tax law and provided funds to be allocated by the IRRRB for the benefit of local school districts.

Leading up to the 2104 amendment, a group of administrators and Board Members from three school districts, Eveleth-Gilbert, Mt. Iron, and Virginia lobbied the Minnesota Legislature seeking funding for a possible colocation effort among the three districts. The colocation fell apart when the Eveleth-Gilbert School Board voted to withdraw from the effort, but the funding to be allocated by the IRRRB had been established. Since 2014, this funding, via the Iron Range School Consolidation & Cooperatively Operated School Account, has helped several area school districts.

Finally, after a long five-year wait, the voters in EvelethGilbert and Virginia were presented in May with a plan to consider; the favorable financing of the Academy plan was largely possible due to the IRRRB School Account. The levy referendum for this historic collaboration plan was approved by double-digit margins in each of the districts.

I would like to thank the members of the 2014 Range Delegation and the lobbyist who worked with the three school districts to create such an important School Account.

Senators:

Tom Bakk

Tom Saxhaug

David Tomassoni

Representatives:

Tom Anzelc

David Dill

Dale Lucek

Carly Melin

Jason Metsa

Lobbyist:

Gary Cerkvenik

Without your belief that Iron Rangers could come together for our students, we would not be on the path of making this game changer academy a reality.

Thank You, Thank You, and Thank You again for your great work, faith in the Range, and foresight.

I would also like to pass on my compliments to the Mesabi Daily News for your exemplary coverage and fair presentation of both sides of the issue. Often opposing views were published side by side. You performed a public service with your unbiased, refreshing coverage of the positions put forth by both sides.

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