Why I'm Running
Strong Collaboration & Mutual Trust
Effective school boards lead as a united team, each from their respective roles, with strong collaboration and mutual trust.
For three weeks in March, our teachers and support staff took to the streets to demand our administration begin to make serious moves towards creating systemic change within our district. Running a school district through a top-down, one-size-fits-all model has been proven to be a failure. This three-week strike did not have to happen, yet it did.
Where do we go from here? To begin, we can no longer afford to view each other as adversaries.
Conduct a post-strike examination of what went wrong from both sides
Panel a commission of students, educators, administration, board and community members tasked with creating measures to reduce the chances of a future strike
Create more concrete working relationships with parents and community stakeholders
Increase the transparency of the administration and board so we can begin to restore the public trust in our public schools
High Expectations &
Fully Fund our Schools
The state and federal governments have not lived up to their promises to fully fund our schools. We live in a relatively blue part of the state, so our focus needs to expand into creating alliances with school board members in outstate Minnesota where there is more resistance to providing funding at the level that is needed.
More funding for special education from state and federal sources would reduce the burden on the district's budget that currently has to make up the shortfall
Request independent audits of MPS' budget and spending
Ensure charter and magnet schools are required to provide the same level of services that our public schools deliver
Provide pay equity and longevity for our Adult Educators
Accountability & Focus
Transparency & Oversight
We are in a budget crisis and there are no easy solutions. However, when that sentence is spoken, how many of us immediately turn to “budget crisis”. Let’s remember the first word of that sentence. We. The top-down model has broken trust within our school district. It is past time we try to fix it. We can throw this model out and begin a grassroots movement to create the community schools we desire. Our power through the board has been delegated to an administration with limited ties to our communities. It is time to bring that power back to our students, families, and educators.
We can start by:
Returning to a community minded vs. corporate-minded mentality within the district offices.
Vetting the flow of information coming from the administration. Administration has lost the trust of the community and their own workforce.
Enacting more oversight of the administration and their cabinet.
Reset our budgetary priorities to ones that more reflect our values as a community and city.
Shared Belief & Values
Our curriculums, programming, and professional developments can provide culturally responsive teaching methods that reflect and respect the intersectionality of every one of our students. As teachers, we are meeting our students at the crossroad of their realities and their journeys. In order to keep those journeys moving forward, it is our responsibility, together with the community to ensure the education we are providing is relevant to our students' realities.
Implementing culturally responsive methods will:
Center student voices and concerns
Honor BIPOC experiences
Bring visibility to Indigenous People and traditions
Protect transgender and non-binary students
Provide opportunities for students to connect their learning to their own lives and how they can use that information to take action
Recruit & Retain BIPOC Staff
Strengthen Contractual Protections
Over the past several years, MPS has been losing not only BIPOC families, but also their teachers. Our BIPOC staff now have Anti-Bias, Anti-Racist (ABAR) protections embedded into their contracts. This is a good first step towards addressing the needs of our current BIPOC staff as well as becoming more responsive to the specific complexities of teaching in our society and the toll it can take on educators of color.
How else can we begin to create a more welcoming environment for our BIPOC communities and staff?
A Commitment to Aligning & Sustaining Resources:
Dismantle the current process in how job descriptions are created and interviews are conducted.
Strengthen protections from 'last-in-first-out' and seniority layoffs.
Where are we looking to find BIPOC educators? We can grow our own! Who do you know that could make a positive influence on the lives of our students?
Once employed, our BIPOC staff need support. Some initial steps we can take are:
Increase the number of ABAR mentors. Two mentors covering the entire district is nowhere near sufficient.
Provide affinity spaces for BIPOC educators to brainstorm, collaborate, and receive emotional support.
Increase opportunities for BIPOC support staff and community members to become teachers.