Minneapolis public schools lose more than $200 million in state and federal funding each year because one-third of the district’s eligible residents choose to attend charter schools or schools in other districts. I view this growing trend as a red flag making for greater educational inequality in Minnesota.
It bothers me that parents, rather than participating in their community and improving their local schools, choose to buy their way out and send their kids to a “better” school.
An adequate education should be available to all children, regardless of whether their parents have the money and time to send them to private or charter schools. When more people, especially the wealthy and influential, choose to send their kids to Minneapolis public schools, the quality of the services provided will improve.
Public schools in Minneapolis shouldn’t have to be something that parents steer clear of. Choosing to jump ship from your community’s public education makes a mild improvement in the situation for your child while worsening it for others.
Minneapolis public schools currently have a disappointingly low on-time graduation rate of about 50 percent. However, the district has restructured some of its programs and will be hiring new teachers. Hopefully this should boost the quality of the education provided.
Public schools unite people from different ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. They should continue to do so.
I urge parents in the Minneapolis district to seriously consider public schools as a place for their children, even if they have the means to go elsewhere. Don’t build barriers to insulate your children from the unfamiliar. Support your local community. Doing so will bring you and your children much more awareness, wisdom and connectedness.