Twenty five years ago, Minnesota gave something unique to their students, the ability to attend a chartering school that offered innovative learning experiences that were not available in a traditional public school. Today, Minnesota still strives to only create innovative and unique schools. They gave teachers the authoritative power to accept or deny a new charter. Only two, of the 160, are run by A charter Management Company and only two are for-profit. 

If Minnesota is able to function 25 years later, why can’t we? We set the bar too low and didn’t stick to the original concept of innovative. We handed out approvals like the quality of our education was dependent on the number of charter schools we allowed to open. We didn’t require the “innovative status” as strictly as other states and we are feeling the consequences now. 

We need to refocus back on our traditional public schools, reinvest in our local communities, and create then support innovative magnet programs throughout the city if we want to keep our schools local and community-based. One role of the school board is to enact policy so that all schools can offer programs that benefit every school, every student, every day. 

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