We appreciate reader feedback and strive to publish the vast majority of what we receive. Here are the comments readers submitted over the past two weeks.
What teaching during the pandemic has been like for a first-grade teacher
My granddaughter has Ms. Clark for a teacher. Imagine my surprise when she was interviewed! I found myself tearing up many times as I read her heartbreaking reality. I am a retired teacher and relate in many ways to what her days look like and and her commitment to quality education for all. I am the caretaker for my grandchildren while the strike is progressing. Although, my time with the kids is helpful and enjoyable, they need to be in school. I support our teachers. -Kathy, K.
Metro Transit Needs Better Options for High School Students
I am sorry to say, my grandkids are driven/picked up to/from school because of covid. I see a lot of buses lined up in front of Page at the end of the school day. This is an important issue because safety for little kids waiting at the bus stops can be dicey. If the schools were neighborhood schools like for my own kids we would not need many buses! But the city keeps rearranging districts which in my mind is crazy. It breaks up kids lives and friendships, and parents as well. Who invented this system? I was a high school teacher for 30+ years at the same school and loved it. -sent via text
Ms. Kadrie might get somewhere mentioning the special local bus route 25, which operates a school-day-only northbound trip into downtown. This was added when they switched high school students to Metro Transit. It picks up south Bryn Mawr, Cedar-Isles-Dean, Kenwood, and Lowry Hill students who go to Southwest High School or North High School and gets them to Hennepin for local bus route 6 to Southwest or downtown. This is significant because there are only four other northbound trips in the a.m. and four total southbound trips in the p.m. On Metro Transit, a trip from Kenwood to North High School is about 55 minutes and I'm thinking about the same to Southwest [editor’s note: it’s 45 minutes on Metro Transit). It was 15 to 20 minutes on the school bus. Years ago when my Southwest student transferred to an alternative school, the student walked a mile and a quarter to catch the Metro Transit bus. I inquired to the State and was told that students can be required to walk the maximum walk distance [2 miles] to catch the bus. The special 25 route probably has few student riders, and probably will have fewer in the future, but they are still running it. Otherwise, carpools are probably the only alternative. But based on my observation of the district for 45 years, and 16 as a parent, things change. It's facing money troubles. That probably means consolidating schools, among other things. -Evelyn T.
Why does Ukraine matter to Minnesota?
Thank you, thank you for Alicia Gibson's critically important historical summary and appeal to support our Ukrainian neighbors and vigorously oppose the war against their homeland — by volunteering their service to humanitarian organizations and with financial contributions. I will forward to everyone I know. I suggest that you urge the editors of MinnPost, Sahan Journal, Hill & Lake Press and other community news platforms to reprint Dr. Gibson's column. It deserves and demands the widest possible exposure. You and your staff do such a great job of covering issues that really matter. -Sandra
MPS is Quietly Facing a Budget Emergency
A big thank you to Melissa Whitler for the clear, succinct reporting on such a critical and complicated issue. I am a teacher in MPS and I thought I understood where the money comes from and how it is allocated, but I had only a shallow understanding and actually had some misunderstandings, which are now cleared up because of this writing. In addition, the way she used other schools’ costs and spending was incredibly eye opening—“ For comparison, the cross subsidy for special education services in nearby school districts is $1139 per student in Richfield, $844 per student in Edina, and, the lowest in the metro, $423 per student in Minnetonka.” This is shockingly stark and explains so much about what we can offer our children when after MPS fills in the cross subsidies, we have 4,900 per student vs. Minnetonka at 6,100 to spend per student! This article has motivated me to reach out to our state legislators to lobby for FULL funding of special education and English language learners costs, and I can speak specifically to what needs to get done so our Minnesota children truly get the same learning opportunities across the state. Thank you, your ability to streamline all these layers has been impactful. -K.D.
Before anything goes to schools, the Davis Center [MPS administration] gets to set its budgets first. The schools get what is left. There is absolutely no sunshine on the Davis Center budgets. An audit is immediately required. This does not negate the need for additional state and federal money, but the Davis Center must not operate above scrutiny. -Tonya T.
Thank you for your investigative reporting. Your article is thorough and well-written. I'm curious how much money is spent at the Davis Center on salaries and what exactly are those salaried positions? Over the years there are new positions at the district. How are we affording these positions during the financial crisis? How do we justify spending money on these positions? I believe a third party audit could help find discrepancies in the spending practices. -Katie J.