Brooklyn Center as a Partner?

A few local residents have contacted us with the news they are working on a proposal to absorb the Brooklyn Center District  (ISD 286) with Robbinsdale (ISD 281).  Since ISD 286 has only three schools, and 1,800 students (30 % coming from Minneapolis), merging with us makes some sense.  In addition, it would help District 281 by removing Northport Elementary and the cost of renovation.  Here’s the breakdown…

If we merged with ISD 286 the benefits are:

*We could remove an entire administration saving hundereds of thousands of dollars.

*We could close Northport and send the Brooklyn Center kids to their elementary school (Earle Brown) and divide the Crystal kids between Forest, Meadow Lake, and Laveview saving taxpayers the $20 million to renovate Northport.

*We wouldn’t have to transposrt kids from Northport to Pilgrim Lane and then could divest out of that property.

Disadvantages would include..

*Both sides would have to approve a merger by referendum which would take time, a special election, and money.  People may feel reluctant to merge and create a bigger super district.

*We would have to redo our borders a year after already doing so.

It is an interesting possibility that we hope both school boards will consider.  Northport and Lakeview have to deal with their properties somehow, and if we can save $20 million especially in this economy that has to help.  Considering state spending is frozen for the next two years and our budget is already in the red next year (thanks to the fact we approved a Union contract we couldn’t afford), we have to have more creative solutions.  We welcome your thoughts on this issue.

4 Responses to “Brooklyn Center as a Partner?”

  1. give2attain Says:

    At first it made sense, then I had a vague memory come to me. When was the last time Brooklyn Center residents passed a local funding referendum?

    Robbinsdale Consolidated Financials

    Brooklyn Center Consolidated Financials

    I am not sure the Robbinsdale community schools can handle more conservative citizens and maintain the strong school system. And I am pretty sure the BC folks would not appreciate our tax bill. Given only ~11% of their funding comes from local sources, as compared to ~19% in RAS.

    It will be interesting to see where the group’s efforts lead, and the idea does have its merits.

    • 281 Exposed Says:

      Those are good points, Give. Brooklyn Center hasn’t passed a referendum in a long time and who would want our tax bill? You have to wonder though if District 286 is “sustainable.” They have only 1800 students and three schools, with somewhere between 25% to 30% (we are working to verify that number) of their kids from Minneapolis. They also have three of the largest school districts in the state around them (us, Osseo, and Minneapolis) so it just seems inevitable that they will be on the chopping block. There is another possibility and that is to “divorce” from Brooklyn Center and let the BC kids in our district go to ISD 286 and therefore close Northport. That would depend on several factors; can BC absorb our BC students? Can Meadow Lake, Lakeview, and Forest absorb the Crystal kids going to Northport? The real drawback of the this idea if it is feasible is that although we would save the $20 million (or more) to remodel Northport, we would lose the 650 BC students we have in ISD 281 (if you include middel school and high school) and therefore lose the revenue with them. These are just thoughts and options we feel the district should consider before sticking us with a $45 million tax bill.

  2. give2attain Says:

    Not arguing that, I was fascinated to learn that these old boundaries divide a house on the line by where the master bedroom is…

    A redraw would not be a bad idea…. Maybe by major highways…

  3. 281 Exposed Says:

    Looks like the idea is dead. We’ve been told by the citizens pushing the idea that Brooklyn Center is not interested. Back to the drawing board.

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