It's been a week of a lot of public meetings (no big surprise in our lives.) Last week, I had 2 PTA meetings in the same week. Another night, while I presented the audit to the Macalester-Groveland Community Council, patrick attended a community meeting about a terrible recent crime. We attended a super-fun pop-up patin night at 579 Selby, and tucked a board meeting and a book club in there too.
Tonight, through, really represented our spread of interests. We started the evening by attending the "No Cuts for Kids" protest at the SPPS administration building, just before the Board of Education meeting.
Did you know that Anoka-Ramsey (the largest school district in Minnesota, with 1,000 more students than second-place Saint Paul) spends 21 million dollars less annually than SPPS on centralized functions alone? (10 million less on district level administration and $11 million less on instructional support). That would fund the $17 million projected shortfall next year and leave us with $4 million to bolster services! I find that a particularly hard talking point to argue with — there's no reason that we should be spending over 20 million more on the same services as a larger district while cutting classes and kids services.
There were about 300 people at the event (eta: other reports said 100 to 150, so let's just put it at over 100) and I would call it a success! Plus Beatrix learned it is important to speak up about your school. School Board member Steve Marchese came out and spoke to the crowd and said he wanted to hear from us, so make YOUR voice heard and tell him what you think! (eta: Marchese's comment at the board meeting later that night was particularly telling - "Seems we don't have 'strong schools' in neighborhoods that aren't perceived to be strong.")
I then headed to an Historic Preservation Commission event — the Saint Paul HPC is 40 years old! It was also an awards event for some fantastic preservation projects, including the fantastic Save Our Saint Paul Neighborhoods. It was great to spend some time with people who find it just as important as I do to preserve Saint Paul's amazing sense of place. Here's to many more years!
(Then we came home and did homework. For instance, did you know that the Greek goddess Hera's sacred animals are both the cow and the peacock? Well, now you do.)