Press Release, 3/22/11
The House Education Finance Omnibus Bill recently heard and passed this week includes cuts to integration dollars (used to help integrate racially isolated schools) and compensatory aid (aid for low-income, free/reduced lunch students).
As an example of the impact of these cuts, Minneapolis Public Schools alone would lose about $17 million or $480 per student from integration funding cuts.
While the Council on Asian Pacific Minnesotans recognizes that funding in education is limited and needs more accountability and effective use, we maintain that a total elimination of these funds is not the answer. Reductions to Special Education and Adult Basic Education funding is also of great concern for the Council. These cuts would disproportionately impact schools whose populations are largely made up of Asian Pacific students and other students of color.
- Integration and Compensatory Funding cuts would mainly hit Minneapolis, St. Paul and Duluth areas and therefore disproportionately affecting students of color and harming efforts to close the achievement gap.
- Cuts to transportation would limit the efforts to improve interracial contact for students.
- Elimination of special education funding will force school districts to use general dollars from other programs, reducing total school effectiveness.
What the community can do:
Please consider writing a letter of your concerns to the governor, your district’s legislators or legislators on Senate and House education committees. Everyone is concerned about the achievement gap but let them know your specific concerns on addressing the achievement gap.
- Mention if you are a student or parent of a student impacted by school programs or services funded by integration or compensatory aid and if those programs are beneficial.
- Watch the video of 3 young Asian Minnesotan students who had great courage to testify on what integration in their schools meant to them. Follow their courage. [Skip to 04:33:00, testimony is about 3-4 minutes long]. http://livestre.am/FEzX
- Ask questions, contact the Council on Asian Pacific Minnesotans at capm [at] state.mn.us to learn more about this issue and ask how your concerns can be best heard at the capitol