West Fargo Public Schools looks to the future after failed referendum

(West Fargo, ND) – West Fargo Public Schools is back to looking at options after its recently failed $147 million referendum. On Monday night, Superintendent Beth Slette asked the board to consider approving a community engagement process called ‘Facility Plan 2.0.’

The board unanimously agreed to reconvene it’s long-range facilities task force, beginning in the new year. Slette says the district conducted a survey of stakeholders, which Slette said had a positive response.

“We had almost as many responses as we had voters,” she said.

Slette said the district learned ‘quite a bit of information from that (the survey,’ saying the district learned, among other information, that they ‘could have done a better job communicating.’ She says others stated they had intended on voting, but something had come up.

One of the more interesting statistics Slette said they learned was the high percentage of survey takers that were not in the school district in 2018.

“52 percent of the people who took the survey did not live in the district in 2018,” she said. “So that tells me how many new families we have that we make some assumptions that they know historical reasons for why we’ve done things.”

Slette said that, while the district wants to be good listeners and stewards of taxpayer dollars, that they need to look at the projected trends.

“We need to address the growth,” she said. “It’ll be important for us to help everyone understand what is anticipated and what we need to do more of moving forward to be positioned makes sense.”

Original Air Date: 
Tuesday, December 12, 2023