Letter to the editor: All schools could see integration dollars shrink — not just CrosswindsThe EMID Board asked Perpich to consider taking over governance of Crosswinds.
The EMID Board asked Perpich to consider taking over governance of Crosswinds. Perpich agreed because running Crosswinds is in keeping with their mission. Crosswinds was established to provide an integrated learning environment bringing together a racially diverse student body from urban and suburban communities. At the foundation of the curriculum is an arts and science magnet program which fosters development of creativity, exploration, and critical thinking.
Under Perpich leadership, this school of choice will continue to be available for students from multiple districts. If the Perpich proposal is not approved, the school will close. The idea that under Perpich leadership Crosswinds would attract hundreds of students from area districts is flawed for two reasons:
• Crosswinds currently has 350 students and at capacity it can hold no more than 600 students. It simply does not have room for hundreds of students from any one district.
• Crosswinds is appropriate for a small number of students, many whom did not find a home in a traditional school setting.
Without Crosswinds these students will seek other opportunities such as charter schools, open enrollment to other magnet schools, or home schooling. Opponents of the bill raise concerns that Perpich’s proposal relies on state integration funding. All schools will be affected by what the Legislature does with integration funds, so this is not a unique issue for Crosswinds.
The bill is assigned to be heard in the Senate Education Committee, and it needs to be put on the agenda right away. Preserving Crosswinds is the right decision for students in the East Metro Area and throughout the State of Minnesota.
Susan Larson – Oak Park Heights