Parents Gather at the Capitol, Call for Fair Funding for Children in Twin Cities Charter Schools
Mar 14, 2019
On Thursday, Feb. 7, dozens of parents will gather at the Minnesota Capitol to advocate for equitable funding for children in charter schools. Frustrated by disparate resources at the state and local levels, parents will meet with legislators to share concerns about inequitable school funding and hopes for their children.
“I want what every parent wants: for my child to get a great education,” said Pearll Warren, whose daughter attends Hiawatha Academies, a network of high-performing charter schools in Minneapolis. “My daughter tried a different school, but Hiawatha has been the best fit, hands- down. But, just because it’s a charter school, my daughter gets fewer resources? It doesn’t make any sense. As a parent, I don’t care what kind of school my child goes to—district, charter, whatever. I care about my child being in the right school for her, and having access to the same funding and opportunities as kids in the district where we live and pay taxes.”
Currently, state law excludes charter schools from accessing funding from voter-approved local excess levy referendums. The state provides limited equalization money to charters to offset levy dollars, but in certain districts—like Minneapolis and St. Paul— the disparity is not resolved. For example, in 2017, the total amount available per average daily attending student at Hiawatha Academies was only $16,413, compared to $18,760 in Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS). This disparity has a real impact, preventing Hiawatha from offering services common in MPS, including after school and gifted and talented programming.
“The way Minnesota funds schools is completely inequitable,” said Maria Tapia, a Hiawatha parent who will meet with her state legislators on Feb. 7. “My children’s school serves mostly students of color, kids with limited or low income, children who don’t speak English at home; we understand our children need more support. We’re talking about some of our most historically underserved children in the city. We should be giving them more resources and opportunities— but instead we’re giving our children less because they are in a charter school.”
Parents will meet with legislators throughout the day on Feb. 7 to discuss charter funding inequity and possible solutions to address it.
Minnesota State Capitol
75 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.
Saint Paul, MN 55155
Parent training and media availability: 9:30-11
For more information or to schedule interviews with parents, contact EdAllies Strategic Communications Director Adrienne Vitt: 612.703.2429 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About EdAllies: EdAllies partners with schools, families, and communities to ensure that every young Minnesotan has access to a rigorous and engaging education. We advance policies that put underserved students first, remove barriers facing successful schools and programs, and foster an inclusive conversation about what’s possible for students.