It just gets dirtier and dirtier.
In order for South Washington County District 833 to acquire Crosswinds school and move the Woodbury Elementary students into that school to make room for the little darlings of Spanish Immersion in Woodbury Elementary, the offer by Perpich Center for Crosswinds must be defeated in the Minnesota Legislature. To believe that this issue would be treated fairly is to believe that the Democrat leadership in the Minnesota Legislature is fair, which, judging by the load of crap coming out of the legislature this session, would be a false belief.
It turns out that The Crosswinds-Perpich bill (Minnesota House HF592 and Minnesota Senate as SF530) has been stalled, and is not being heard in the Education Committee. According to the rules (made by the Democrats at the beginning of the session), if a bill is not heard in a committee, the bill is dead. But why would the bill be stalled in committee? And who would be stalling it? The "official" person stalling the bill is Patricia Torres Ray (DFL-63), Chairwoman of the Education Committee. However, one of the primary members of the Minnesota Senate Education Committee also happens to be none other than Susan Kent, Freshman Democrat Senator from District 53. District 53 includes parts of the South Washington County School District 833 where Senator Kent just happens to have a child in the choice Spanish Immersion program. It is rumored that Senator Kent has been pushing Senator Torres Ray to keep SF530 stalled - if the bill receives no hearing, it effectively dies and South Washington County School District 833 will acquire Crosswinds to use as they please, including moving elementary students into a school designed for 6-10th graders.
It is always amazing how there are so many people who seem to only get involved in local politics to further their own agendas: David Kemper, SWC School Board Member, also has children participating in the Spanish Immersion program. Certainly there is no way he'd allow that to cause him to put the well-being of the district's most diversely populated elementary school students below the happiness of a small group of Spanish Immersion kids...or would he? During the last big battle over Spanish Immersion kicking neighborhood kids from their school, David Kemper refused to remove his vote from the issue. No conflict of interest here, folks, nope. Just keep moving.
FYI: The Spanish Immersion Program of District 833 is one that requires students to begin the program in full-day Kindergarten. Full-Day Kindergarten is only offered as a fee-based program (except in two district schools where the Free/Reduced Lunch Program participants is equal or over 50% of the population) in SWC 833. If parents cannot afford the fee, there are sometimes funds available. However, to get into the school a family must enter a lottery (after showing they can pay the $2K+/yr fee for all-day Kindergarten) where slots are filled at random, unless the family somehow "hit the Spanish Immersion lotto jackpot" with an older child, then the siblings of the child already in the program are allowed to participate without having to be part of the lottery. This system is elitist from the outset, since most of the families interested in SI are those who can afford to pay the Kindergarten fee, and it seems that the longer the families are in the cocoon of SI, the more "entitled" and vocal they become. It would seem that David Kemper and Susan Kent have not been immune from the elitist attitudes exhibited by their cohorts in the choice program.
Crosswinds School information
It has been mentioned that Joanne Ward (DFL 53A) might be willing to vote in favor of the Perpich Center acquiring Crosswinds if she feels that she has support from her constituents to do so.
"Perpich Center for the Arts would Sustain Diversity at Crosswinds"
District 833's plans for Crosswinds
Information re Spanish Immersion in District 833
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Updated 3/1/2013 2:56pm