Well, I received a sample ballot from the Minneaplis City Republican Committee, to assist with my decision making in the September 9th primary election.
The only competitive race for the GOP is next Tuesday, when the Minneapolis school board candidates vie for a spot in the general election.
Kari Reed is the endorsed GOP candidate. Her website is http://www.karireed.org/
The sample ballot mailing tells me to only vote for Kari Reed... 'we have an opportunity to bring new ideas to help our failing public schools.'
Before I comment further on Ms. Reed's platform, I need to point out that in 2004, I provided some support to another GOP school board candidate, David Dayhoff. At the time, he made it through the primary, but did not win a seat in the general election. It was hard to find any official support from the GOP party, particularly in mailing out sample ballots. For the record, Mr. Dayhoff actually wanted public schools to work, vs. undermining the process.
The September 2008 issue of my neighborhood newspaper, The Bridge', offered up profiles of all the school board candidates.
Here is Kari Reed's profile....
Reed is a home-school teacher of her five children and has taught English to a refugee family in Zaire and “provided motherly care” for 33 parentless children in El Salvador. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish from Goshen College in Indiana.
Minneapolis’ public schools “are failing our children now,” Reed said. “The district is asking for more money, and more money is not the answer!” she said of the proposed referendum on a special tax levy for schools. Rather than giving the district more funds, a better education for the city’s children could be found with “more universal tax credits [for private school tuition], charter schools, and more home-schooling.”
When asked why she was running, Reed said “I want parents to know they don’t have to send their children to the local, government-run schools.”
“With less money, you can and should be more creative,” she said. Reed described home-schooling her five children with a South Minneapolis home-school co-op, spending roughly $4,000 per child per year, in contrast to the “$10,000–$15,000” she claims MPS spends per child per year.
“I understand that they have a certain amount of overhead,” she said, but she implied that resources were not being spent effectively and that she would push for as much cost-cutting as possible.
To Reed, the goal of “every child college-ready” by 2020 —from the District’s new strategic plan — is an example of this poor spending.
“Every child doesn’t fit into the ‘go-to-college’ box,” she said. Giving parents more choices for their child’s education would produce the kinds of results Minneapolis schools are not delivering.
It's hard to know where to start, but I'll toss out one response.... the Minneapolis School Board doesn't have the authority to issue tax credits for private school tuition and other options. If she feels strongly about that issue, she should run for a seat in the Legislature.
I find this candidacy, and the GOP party's endorsement and support of it, to be a perverse joke. While it isn't difficult to find fault with public education, electing leadership who would support shutting it down is not a good answer.