November 20, 2006 Update — From Mary Cecconi, Executive Director
If this is your first update from Parents United, welcome! We are using a new database, so please let us know if you have questions or experience any problems with your mailings from us.
Education Policy Briefing
Thursday, November 30, 2006, 6:30 PM
Roseville Area High School Auditorium
1240 West County Road B-2
Roseville, Minnesota 55113
P.S. Minnesota is a unique and unprecedented coalition of education organizations and parent groups committed to securing a system of school funding which is “rationally linked to student learning.” This coalition has had significant presence at recent events in the state including the Alliance Summit, the MASA fall conference, the MREA fall conference, and the MASBO workshop. Our work has been featured in several newspaper and magazine articles and on the P.S. Minnesota website.
On November 30, representatives from the coalition will share the framework for a new funding formula for the state. This framework is supported by the work of national school finance expert John Myers, who will be present to share the results of his recent study into Minnesota’s funding system.
In this two-hour session, we hope to lay the foundation for significant change in a system most observers believe to be both inadequate and antiquated. We encourage your participation in this forum.
It is truly our intent to build relationships with elected officials so this is a very good time to send your notes of congratulations. I also encourage you to send notes to those who may not have succeeded in this election, who deserve our gratitude for stepping up to the plate and enriching the political debate.
January 2007 will bring a very different landscape to the Capitol. Many freshmen were elected and though many of these newly elected officials are incredibly knowledgeable about school funding, it is still an opportunity for us to begin conversations.
Parent Presence at the Capitol
It has been our practice over the last several legislative sessions to have a continual parent presence at the Capitol. We track the education committees and provide weekly updates. We have heard how important these communications are so that people can keep up-to-date on what is happening. We also know that many of you send them on to your own networks and that is exactly the intent!
But to actually visit the Capitol is an empowering experience. You get to see the action. Many parents who come for the first time become so engaged they end up returning multiple times—or even running for office!
It is also very important for our elected representatives to see parents there on a regular basis. You can come for an hour or for the day. You can come by yourself or bring a friend or two. We will meet you, bring you to the committee room, answer any questions you may have and, if you like, you can visit with your legislator.
It would be beyond wonderful if different districts would simply “claim a day” that they would visit; to do that just e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will contact you and arrange a meeting place and time. I will let you know as soon as the days and times of the education committee meetings are announced.
We are often asked by parents if they can bring children. The answer is an unqualified, “Yes”. The Capitol is our home, the place where Minnesotans come together to do the business of the state. If children are not welcomed there—I don’t know where they would be welcomed!!
Parents United for Public Schools
1667 Snelling Avenue N., St. Paul, MN 55108
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