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Not Enough Money?
Subj:      Re: [Mpls] School Funding
Date:     11/9/2001 6:51:46 PM Central Standard Time
From:     Gypsycurse7@cs.com
Sender:     mpls-admin@mnforum.org
To:     mpls@mnforum.org

In a message dated 11/9/2001 12:52:24 AM Central Standard Time,
[e-mail address deleted] writes:

>  ...According to the Strib this morning, almost half our
>  schools are on "probation" for low scores, correlating highly with
>  poverty neighborhoods.  Even our best schools' scores on tests [which
>  are not the be-all-end-all, but do indicate whether the kids can read
>  and do math] are only as good as the medium schools in the burbs.

The problem isn't that the Board of Education has too little money to play
with. The Minneapolis Public School District is among the least
revenue-challenged public school districts in Minnesota.  Two years ago, with
50,000 students, the Minneapolis Public School District was taking in about
$650 million per year.  That works out to about $13,000 per student per year.
Part of the problem is that the Board of Education comes up with district
improvement plans that don't improve the quality of education most
students receive.  And the district administration doesn't expect its quality
improvement plans to work.  For example, if the district administration
really expected a significant reduction in the high school dropout / pushout
rate, why isn't the district in the process of building at least one new high
school?

How long can the district administration go on talking about how much
progress it's making.  The stated goal of the district is to improve student
achievement and to "close the gap" between poor and non-poor students, and
between black and white students.  Remember the "closing the gap" resolution,
June 1995, which argued that black students would be better off in their own
schools?  

If the Board was really serious about "closing the gap," it would acknowledge
that its policies haven't worked.  It would allow public comment at school
board meetings, on-the-record, about policy issues that are not on its
printed discussion agenda.  It would hold its meetings at a time that is more
convenient for most working parents, as most school districts do.  

Unfortunately, the school board doesn't want to hear from parents unless they
have nice things to say about the Minneapolis Public Schools.
Doug Mann,  King Field

Doug Mann for School Board web site:
<http://educationright.tripod.com>
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