June 26, 2008

June 26, 2008

Update for June 2008 — From Mary Cecconi, Executive Director


What’s Happening This Summer?

In This Issue
“The New Minnesota Miracle” Bill
A Wake-up Call in Frazee-Vergas
Legislative Report Card
Hot Topics at the Website

 

“New Minnesota Miracle” Bill

HF 4178—the “New Minnesota Miracle” bill—is being presented in various regions throughout the state. So far it has been presented in Champlin, White Bear Lake and Brainerd, and plans are in the works for visiting other regions. There have been many parents and community members testifying to the need for sustainable, dependable and adequate dollars for our public schools. It has been very interesting for me to listen to how educated our communities are about the cost of education and the needs our schools face.

I have been equally interested in hearing folks speak to the need for this bill and then offering our legislators “good luck” in passing the bill. HF 4178 calls for a significant increase in money for our public schools and it is not luck that will make this investment happen, but the work we are willing to do over the backyard fence.

It is a crushing reality that democracy works best when we are all part of it. That is the cold hard truth. We need to understand what challenges our schools face and how investing in them will benefit our state. We also need to understand the cost of disinvesting. Finally, we need to understand this well enough to explain the need to our friends and neighbors AND ask those who are seeking election this fall just where they stand on it.

Yes, I am asking you to be involved. It is crucial that people around the state understand just what HF 4178 can offer to schools. In order to help that process along, Parents United, the League of Women Voters and the Minnesota PTA have joined together to offer a presentation about HF 4178 and what its passage can do to enhance student achievement in the state of Minnesota. If you are willing to set a time and a place, we can offer a half-hour tutorial on how our students can benefit from the dollars provided in this proposed bill. Be part of the solution — call or email today! Contact me at mary@parentsunited.org or 651-999-7391, or contact your local League of Women Voters or PTA chapter.

In this issue

 

An Alarming Wake-up Call in Frazee-Vergas
After five attempts, Frazee-Vergas succeeded in passing their local levy this last November. A group is now circulating a petition to re-vote that ballot question. There are two petitions circulating: one to revoke the entire levy and the other to reduce the amount of the levy. If a large enough percentage of registered voters sign the petition, the school board will be forced to place a ballot question in the general election this November to revoke or reduce the levy. This should be a chilling and alarming wake-up call to all of us who have worked so hard to pass levies in our local districts. Not just once do you have to fight the fight—but over and over again.

It is a constitutional mandate for the state to provide for our schools:

Section 1 “UNIFORM SYSTEM OF PUBLIC SCHOOLS. The stability of a republican form of government depending mainly upon the intelligence of the people, it is the duty of the legislature to establish a general and uniform system of public schools. The legislature shall make such provisions by taxation or otherwise as will secure a thorough and efficient system of public schools throughout the state.”

In this issue

 

Parents United Legislative Report Card
Since its inception, one of the missions of Parents United has been to “hold elected officials accountable for providing the necessary policies and funding to enable public schools to meet state and federal academic standards and allow all students to reach their highest potential.” With this in mind, Parents United compiles a report card each election season. In order to comply with election law, it is available only to our members through a password-protected portal on our website.

Postcards will be sent to members with the password for entry; all donors to Parents United are considered members. If you wish to have access to this report card and have not done so already, a great way to get it is to make a donation. Thank you!

 

At the Website

  • Check into how Every Child Matters in Minnesota this summer—there are lots of suggested activities for families.
  • Our News and Events page will keep you updated when you catch some computer time this summer: stay on top of citizen engagement events around the state, review the 2008 legislative session, look ahead to 2009, check up on how Minnesota students are doing academically, and much more—it’s all there!

In this issue


 Questions? Email Mary Cecconi

Parents United for Public Schools
1667 Snelling Avenue N., St. Paul, MN 55108
651-999-7391
www.parentsunited.org