There has yet to be any movement on the part of the South Washington County District 833 School Board in regard to the Black Panthers commemoration at East Ridge High School in Woodbury, Minnesota. Apparently, the Board has forgotten that they work for the people of the district and the Superintendent works for them. When the Superintendent decided that no investigation was necessary since he had already discussed the issue with Mr. Harper, principal of ERHS, the Board seemed to have decided it wasn't worth the trouble to investigate it themselves. The people of 833 need to speak up and demand that the Board does its job and follows through on this issue.
However, the School Board members might just be a little too busy to follow through on such a small issue as a district high school honoring a Marxist, violent, revolutionary group like the Black Panthers because currently they are in the midst of doing their best to confuse parents about the upcoming budget cuts that will cause some programs to cease and put major dents in others. Of course, the school board's favorite pet program, Spanish Immersion, isn't facing any kind of cut whatsoever. No, instead, the board is attempting to acquire an EMID school that happens to be located in the district and use it to alleviate crowding in the school that currently houses Spanish Immersion. They plan to do this by forcing neighborhood kids out of their home school, Woodbury Elementary, putting the Spanish Immersion kids into that school and putting the displaced Woodbury Elementary kids into the Crosswinds school. Crosswinds is a $25 MILLION state-of-the-art Science and Arts middle-to-high school right now. So it makes absolutely PERFECT sense to take ELEMENTARY school aged students and put them into a school that is designed for much older children. And then, after the board has done those things, it wants to build an addition to the Woodbury Middle School that will include a special walk-way between Woodbury Middle School and Woodbury Elementary so the poor little Spanish Immersion students can go back and forth between the schools without having to step foot outside into the cold Minnesota winter. Forget that Woodbury Elementary not only has one of the largest and most diverse student populations in, to quote a commentator from a previous blog, "lily white suburbia," but it also houses one of the largest groups of the most vulnerable Special Needs students in the district as well. And let's not mention that in all the coverage, until this week, of the possible acquisition of Crosswinds High School by District 833, not one thing was mentioned about their true intent for the use of the building.
Furthermore, there supposedly were meetings about this issue, but interestingly enough, the only people who seem to have been notified about the meetings were those die-hard elitist Spanish Immersion parents. Yes, ELITIST. These are the same people who believe that their little darlings deserve to kick other students out of their home schools so that they can take over the school. They think nothing of the expense that it costs the district taxpayers to not only transport their little darlings from all over the district to their current school but that the taxpayers should also be footing the bill to pay the special Spanish-speaking teachers to teach their little darling global learners the regular curriculum only in SPANISH. For some reason, this Spanish Immersion program that begin back in 2003 on a 3 year, $800k grant from who-knows-where and educates an extreme minority of district students, takes precedence over all other students in the district. This probably has nothing to do with the fact that there is a school board member who has his own little darling children in Spanish Immersion, right?
God forbid that the District would actually think that being open about their plans for this minority of elite children ousting just regular ol' district kids from their school was a good idea. God forbid that they would welcome the insights and opinions of the very people who PAY THEIR SALARIES and who expect the board to do what is right in the interest of ALL the children in the district rather than kowtowing to an elite few who for some reason, believe that they are ENTITLED to taxpayer money paying for their specialized program. This ISN'T Special Ed nor is it the Gateway Program for Gifted and Talented (another group of which the elitist Spanish Immersion parents have no problem with kicking to the curb if it means their kids get back into Woodbury): two programs that are absolutely necessary and serve a vital purpose to the community.
Back to budget cuts: If a taxpayer or parent wants to inform him or herself about the "Options" on the table for the budget cuts, that person must know the lingo the District is using to describe the process: "Service Level Conversations." That's descriptive, isn't it? A parent looking for budget options would totally get that, right? To add to the confusion, what the district is actually proposing is described in such a convoluted way that it takes a Masters Degree in Central Planning to understand what they're planning to do. All of this isn't planned, though, right? The School Board wouldn't purposely be making the issues as confusing as possible in order to make parents decide deciphering the "plans" isn't worth their time; thereby, allowing the School Board to do whatever they want with the taxpayers' money.
There will be three School Board seats up for election this Fall. It would seem in the Board's best interest to take the time to actually listen to the people of the District ("people" meaning OTHER THAN the ELITIST SPANISH IMMERSION PARENTS) and their concerns about the direction this District is headed, rather than ignoring parents and going about the business of running the schools like mini-dic(k)tators. It is already being felt around the District that Dr. Jacobus is a control-freak who is happy to snub the advice of the School Board. He seems to be a man in need of an education on for whom he works and that unlike some tenured teachers, he can be fired.
(Updated 2/27/13, 5:58pm)