281 enrollment declines, but not your taxes

Enrollment continues to decline in 281 schools, according to the October 29 issue of the MN Sun Post.

As of Oct. 1, the district’s total enrollment is 12, 308 students, a decline of 1,600 students since 1998, according to Dennis Beekman, District 281’s executive director of technology.

“That’s a significant number,” Beekman said.

Since October of 2007, the district has lost 404 students, he said.

Further into the article, mobility is discussed.

Mobility – the number of students who move each year – continues to be “one of the biggest challenges we face in our schools,” Beekman said.

District-wide, mobility is at 21 percent. But Meadow Lake Elementary in New Hope loses 38.8 percent of its students each year, and Northport has a 30.4 percent mobility rate.

Next, read this grandiose idea from our departing superintendent:

Superintendent Stan Mack said area educators are reviving discussions about at “virtual school district” that was considered in the late 1990s. It would guarantee a stable school life for children by providing them transportation to the school where they began the year, even if their families move.

“This is one of the most exciting initiatives” Mack said. “There is real potential there. The impact of mobility is major for a number of our schools. There is strong incentive for every district to deal with it”

Families in poverty, or those who are minorities, tend to “pack up and move somewhere else” when student discipline or school conflicts become issues with their children, Mack said.

“Children and families need to remain engaged in one school that knows their children,” he said.

The logistics of carrying out that idea is mind-boggling enough — but then again, so is the logic of this superintendent. With declining enrollment and performance with crowded classrooms, Mack and “area educators” (read Education Minnesota) are discussing busing unruly students from one end of the state to another?

And they want more of our tax dollars to pay for that? It’s not a revenue problem, it’s a spending problem — one that this administration still seems very much afflicted with. And Education Minnesota is more than happy to spend your tax dollars to pursue failure, as long as their unions flourish. Please vote no November 4 and vote the Education Minnesota legislators (Sandra Peterson and Lyndon Carlson) out of office.

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