"I am running for the Robbinsdale School Board to define and fix the issues created by the current School Board. I have listed those issues below.
LIST OF ISSUES
The current School Board has failed in their duty to properly manage money and maintain community trust.
Current Board blames Covid and other external factors for the failures they created prior to Covid and the current employee shortages.
Hostile work environments have left the district short of teachers and other related employees from education assistants and support staff through custodians to food workers and bus drivers.
District employees have left due to harsh working conditions supported by a crony political system that makes it almost impossible to get anything accomplished.
Loss of Safe & Healthy Learning Environments: From student discipine issues to locked bathrooms, to the Boards refusal to answer questions about building security, the learning environment promotes learning ONLY when the environment it is safe, secure and sanitized.
This Board continue to rejects questions and concerns about buildling safety. Questions raised at Listening Time includes everything from armed intruders to student on student violence. The Board refuses to speak of these issues and refuse to answer questions. We have no idea if our buildings are prepared and a Board that ignores the questions.
Loss of programs: From music, arts and vocational training, much was lost from program cuts and shifts. Losses include a reduction of elective classes, necessitating students sit in large study halls rather than participating in classroom learning.
Reduction of graduation credit requirements leads to increased graduation rates. Graduation rates saw a slight increase, but it is due to a reduction of graduation credit requirements. School days not utilized, learning options or electives not available. Students sit in large study halls.
Dropped the use of letter grades, changed to a pass/fail grading system. A student receiving a D- will pass the class without the opportunity to make up for the lost learning. this leaves big learning gaps for that student.
Lack of commitment for alternative programs or opportunities such as vocational training. Students want more life skills classes. What about environmental education classes? Nothing.
The current School Board has failed to properly manage money & maintain community trust. Ten years of deficit spending (10% per year) and a 7-year loss of resident students (5000) is not a success story. Know the facts.
Lack of compassion regarding bus issues, the bus mess was created by the School Board when they decided to sell the bus fleet. Where are the millions of dollars of savings we were promised?
Declining Student Enrollment: 4900 resident students left the district (includes the 300 students who notified the district they won't be back in September 2022), 700 students enrolled-in from other districts offsetting some revenue loss, but does not address financial gap created by the loss of resident students. Yet, no budget cuts and no curosity as to the real reason students leave the district. No attempt to bring back resident students.
Budget Deficits: $125 million worth of debt issued during the past six years. Board never talks about the deficit and continue to overspend at an annual average rate of 10%. No budget discussions.
Debt added in 2020 & 2021 was $16.5 million for each year. Despite continued and serious decline in resident students, this Board continues to borrow money to work on buildings that are not fully utilized/occupied. Why not shutter schools if there is no one attending school? We are hemorrhaging students and money.
The amount of rent paid for the Adult Basic Education (ABE) program is $1 million annually for space in the Crystal Shopping Center (a 20 year contract was signed). Despite the decline in studnts, rather than look at building usage and consolidating space the Board decided to spend $1 million a year for rent. The size of ABE class of 2020-2021 was 26 students. That means this board paid $38,500 per student for space rental per year. Even if you double the size of the graduating class to 54, the rent per student is $18,500. That is absurd.
I support Adult Basic Education 100%, but this is misuse of funds and indicates this Board should not be in charge of our money. Money should be spent on classroom education.
Loss of community trust: Our well-behaved community is ignored by the School Board. Board reacts with lack of respect or response to students, parents and the at-large community. The Board ignores community questions and input, focused only on repeating a narrative that must not be questioned.
Hostility toward the community. Getting information from the Boards requires invoking the Freedom of Information Act. It is given to the requester on a laptop. The requestor is required to go to District headquarters to read the information on the laptop. If the requestor wants a copy of the information, they need to take pictures of the the laptop screen.