An expenditure of about $44,000 isn’t much in the context of USD 259’s annual budget of $683.8 million. But the school board was right to vote Monday to seek a source other than tax dollars to pay for the proposed marketing study and district rebranding by Gardner Design. The need for a better strategy to compete with private and other schools may be genuine. But the proposal struck some in the public as ill-timed and tone-deaf, given that the district is under increasing budget pressure and part of the lawsuit against the state for more funding. And one constituent comment mentioned at the meeting by board member Lynn Rogers certainly rings true: “Our best branding is to produce intelligent, well-adjusted graduates.” – Rhonda Holman
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