Archive for the ‘Cronyism’ Category
The Community College of San Fransisco is facing a daunting task. Here’s what’s happening:
In July, the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, said it plans to revoke the school’s accreditation at the end of the school year, giving the college a year to prove that it can turn around or be shut down.
Here’s why CCSF is in this difficult position:
Among other failings, the private agency found the school had failed to reduce spending amid state funding declines while keeping too little money in reserves. City College has $10 million in savings and $850,000 set aside for emergencies, but the accreditor found the school faces long-term problems if it doesn’t change its spending patterns.
The commission also found the college didn’t meet standards in some instructional programs, in student support services and in library facilities.
Imagine that. Another California institution thinks spending isn’t linked to revenues. The culture must change:
Mr. Agrella has instituted a de facto hiring freeze on vacated faculty positions he considered not essential to the curriculum. Last month, he named a new chancellor, Arthur Tyler, to succeed an interim one. In perhaps his most controversial move, Mr. Agrella canceled a new $120 million performing-arts center.
That’s ridiculous. What community college needs a $120,000,000 performing arts center even in the best of times? CCSF isn’t enjoying the best of times, making this decision seem rather foolish. Despite the situation, people are upset with Mr. Agrella’s decision:
Timothy Killikelly, 56, a political-science instructor, said he likes Mr. Agrella, but disagrees with some of his moves, such as canceling the performing-arts center, mainly because voters had passed a bond measure for it.
CCSF won’t exist a year from now if a) it doesn’t get spending under control and b) it doesn’t focus its mission to what’s essential. The state accrediting board can put CCSF out of business if it doesn’t start acting responsibly. That would make the bonding vote moot. (Then again, we’re talking California, so it’s possible that they’d spend money on a performing arts center on the campus of a now-defunct community college.)
CCSF is the most dramatic case of financial mismanagement I’ve read. Unfortunately, it isn’t the only collegiate institution that’s been poorly managed. Colleges and universities nationwide have spent money foolishly, especially on shiny buildings that enhance a president’s self-image but do little to build a well-educated workforce.
At St. Cloud State, one of the least-talked-about financial disasters is the renovation of the National Hockey Center. It’s now known as the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center. When the project was first announced, it was called the National Hockey and Event Center. When fundraising fell far short of the goal, the event center part of the project got dropped like a hot potato.
With enrollment dropping like a rock, tuition revenues have fallen short of what’s needed. Now SCSU is figuring out what to cut from their budget.
If only management had learned that you can’t spend money you don’t have on things you don’t need.
Technorati: Community College of San Fransisco, Financial Mismanagement, Accreditation, Performing Arts Center, Robert Agrella, St. Cloud State, Herb Brooks National Hockey Center, National Hockey and Event Center, Fundraising, Enrollment Declines, Tuition Revenue
Scott Rasmussen’s column highlights the fact that elected politicians hate the inevitable shift away from centralized government. Here’s the key portion of Mr. Rasmussen’s article:
As society became more centralized, so did the government. Politicians were happy to ride the wave of societal trends as it brought them more power and money.
But the trends changed starting in the 1970s with the launch of cable television networks. That gave individuals more choices in the 1980s, and the Internet expanded those choices in the 1990s. Now we’ve reached a level of personalization powered by more than 100 million smartphones. The culture of individual choice and customization is so strong that no two of these smartphones are alike. We have different apps, music and more.
Over the past 30 years, as society has moved away from centralization, the political class has resisted. Government has grown ever more centralized. In fact, the federal government today directly controls a far larger chunk of the nation’s economy than it did just a generation or two ago.
That disconnect exists partly because politics and government always lag behind. It’s also partly because politicians are not thrilled with riding the new wave that disperses power away from the political class.
There’s no question about whether the political class will attempt to resist this inevitable dispersal. It’s predictable that they’d fight to keep the power they’ve accumulated.
The political class is totally out of step with the rest of America, especially in America’s heartland. That’s the single biggest factor for Washington, DC having the terrible ratings it’s got.
For instance, Senate Democrats have pledged to craft legislation that’d postpone the penalties required by the Affordable Care Act. There isn’t a Democrat-sponsored bill that would implement the proper policy perscriptions that would fix the Affordable Care Act’s underlying problems.
That’s a perfect example of the political class ignoring the policy preferences of the people. The political class isn’t about fixing problems. They’re about doing things so they can say ‘We tried.’ The tipping point is fast approaching that says trying isn’t good enough. Successful solutions are what’s required of the political class from this point forward.
Trey Gowdy is one of my new GOP heroes in the House of Representatives. He’s fighting to get the truth about the Affordable Care Act. He’s consistently questioned why the administration has said one thing, then delivered something totally different. This video is proof that Rep. Gowdy, (R-SC), doesn’t fit in with the political class:
“We were promised a state of the art website but we got an abacus and a sun dial. I want to know what we got for our money. I want to know if this thing can be fixed in 2 months, why didn’t you have it up and running in the 3 years you had prior to Oct. 1st.”
Rep. Gowdy is a straight shooter. Most importantly, he’s doing everything he can to protect the taxpayers from the government’s ineptitude. That’s why he’s one of the good guys in Congress. He’s the type of congressman who’s interested in a) protecting taxpayers and b) providing solutions to today’s biggest problems.
It’s incumbent on all TEA Party activists to find people like Congressman Gowdy and talk them into running for public office. The more Trey Gowdys, Jim Jordans, Mike Lees, Rand Pauls and Tom Coborns we have in Congress, the better.
That’s the only way to stop the political class from ruining America.
Yesterday, I spoke with some well-connected people at Townhall Tuesday who said that the House Higher Education Committee isn’t likely to take up a serious investigation into St. Cloud State’s corruption because “it’s a St. Cloud issue.” This didn’t come from a single person. It came from several people who’ve supplied me with reliable information in the past.
Let’s explode the myth that there’s anything local about MnSCU. That’s a political dodge that’s been used by politicians on both sides of the aisle. Simply put, it’s BS. University presidents report directly, and solely, to the MnSCU chancellor, who then reports to a rubberstamp known as the MnSCU Board of Trustees.
That each of these groups live in their own ivory towers is disturbing enough. University presidents can, and have, told their communities to stuff it. Certainly, Chancellor Rosenstone has washed his hands of anything to do with SCSU’s financial mismanagement. There’s no question that the MnSCU Board of Trustees are disinterested bystanders.
Simply put, it’s a system designed to discourage accountability. If it weren’t for a handful of citizen journalists, there’s no doubt that MnSCU would’ve swept any attempts to hold its universities and presidents accountable aside.
I’d love seeing Chairman Pelowski and Vice-Chair Dorholt prove me wrong by launching a serious investigation into St. Cloud State. Until I see that happen, I’ll take a Missouri point of view. They’ll have to show me that they’re serious. I won’t take their talk seriously until their actions show me that they’re serious.
From another angle, I’d love seeing some legislators put together legislation that would create local accountability. The ideal legislation would put in place an accountability panel that was independent of MnSCU. This accountability panel would have the authority to gather documents from their university without putting a Data Practices Act request together. That would mean there’d potentially be an adversarial system.
That’s better than the crony-filled rubberstamp system we’ve currently got with MnSCU.
This independent investigatory panele would also have the authority to perform audits of the universities’ books to make sure funds aren’t being improperly co-mingled or shifted.
What’s interesting is that every SCSU professor I’ve talked with thinks that MnSCU is a joke. That’s been the opinion from them whether they’re conservative or liberal or somewhere in between.
Former legislators think that, too. St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis once told me that he submitted a bill to kill MnSCU before it became operational when he was a state senator. He knew it wouldn’t deliver on its promises. Mayor Kleis was vindicated on that.
What’s clear is that the current system isn’t working. It isn’t preventing corruption and mismanagement. It isn’t punishing people after it’s been proven that they’re corrupt or that they’ve mismanaged their university’s finances. At this point, there isn’t even proof that MnSCU or the legislature is even interested in oversight.
Most Minnesotans don’t know much about what MnSCU is. It’s less likely that they know that MnSCU has a Board of Trustees, which are supposed to pay attention to what’s happening at the universities, community colleges and technical colleges. It’s almost impossible to find proof that they’re anything more than a rubberstamp for the MnSCU chancellor. Finally, next to no one knows that each congressional district has a representative, at least theoretically.
For the record, here’s the current MnSCU Board of Trustees.
The reality is that nobody’s ever heard of a MnSCU trustee holding a townhall meeting. That’s because these trustees don’t hold townhall meetings. They prefer doing what they’ve always done, namely, rubberstamping things that MnSCU chancellors want. That’s great if you’re running an ivory tower but it’s a worthless way to connect with the needs of the communities. It’s a worthless way to find out what the businesses’ workforce needs are in their district.
There’s another ‘advantage’ to never holding townhall meetings: staying anonymous. That’s a distinct advantage if your highest priority is rubberstamping decisions instead of representing the citizens of their districts.
These MnSCU trustees need to step out of their ivory towers. Staying in them, they only hear from the same voices. What’s worse is that they only hear the same opinions on the same old subjects.
That isn’t likely to happen, though. One professor wrote to that district’s ‘representative’. This professor asked if the district representative planned on holding any townhall meetings. Later that night, the ‘representative’ replied, saying “No, I am not.”
MnSCU has never functioned that well. Now, it’s known by professors as the institution “that’s taken the fun out of dysfunctional.” University presidents don’t answer to local citizens. The chancellor only answers to the Board of Trustees who don’t answer to or report to anyone.
These trustees should meet regularly with the people in their districts. That means they should talk frequently with local businesses, civic leaders and professors. In fact, if they got out of their ivory towers from time to time, they might actually say no to the things the presidents and the MnSCU chancellor are pushing. If nothing else, they’d hear a different perspective than the stale things they’re currently hearing.
It’s time that people took a wrecking ball to MnSCU’s ivory towers. It’s time to hear from the people they theoretically represent.
The last few years, enrollment at St. Cloud State has declined. When the totals are reported this year, it’ll confirm that this is the 4th straight year of declining enrollments. A report compiled by Tom Fauchald using MnSCU data showed that St. Cloud State would experience a drop in revenues of $8,218,0000 for the school year that’s about to start.
Another way of looking at St. Cloud State’s enrollment crisis is that their enrollment peaked at over 18,400 students for the 2010-11 school year. This year, that total is projected to be 15,600. That’s a drop of 2,800 students in 3 years. That’s a drop of approximately 15%.
As startling as those figures are, that’s only part of the problem. The biggest problem is that St. Cloud State’s enrollments won’t rebound for at least another 4 years. If that’s the case, that means St. Cloud State will lose at least $25,000,000 in tuition revenues before enrollment rebounds. That’s assuming that it rebounds soon. If it doesn’t, St. Cloud State will lose significantly more revenues.
Attached to that frightening figure is that student fees revenues are tied directly to enrollment. One of the things that students fees help pay for is the football program. If enrollment continues dropping, the student fees that pay for the football program drop, too.
This enrollment decline won’t turn around without a change in strategy. That won’t happen until President Potter is terminated or retires. President Potter’s rebranding initiative is a failure. Their billboards and late night TV advertising essentially delivers the message that St. Cloud State exists.
The ads don’t talk about great programs. They don’t talk about the skills students will learn to propel them into their career. They don’t talk about anything that will get a potential student’s attention. That means this advertising won’t turn potential students into the next incoming freshman class.
During the first year of declining enrollment, the administration tried spinning the drop in enrollment as part of their rightsizing plan. Clearly, that spin isn’t convincing after 3 years of major enrollment decreases.
When Mahmoud Saffari was fired from his position as St. Cloud State’s Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management, Provost Maholtra’s letter to Saffari said “During my tenure as provost you have not produced a satisfactory strategic enrollment management plan, despite my continual counsel to you to focus on data analytics and statistical predictive models.”
It’s almost been 2 years since Dr. Saffari was given his termination notice. Since that day, nobody at the university has been with putting together “a satisfactory strategic enrollment management plan.” It’s apparent that this wasn’t really a priority for St. Cloud State. It’s apparent that was just an excuse to terminate Dr. Saffari.
It wouldn’t be fair to blame the enrollment decline on Saffari’s termination. It’s more than fair, though, to say St. Cloud State’s enrollment management system is flailing since Dr. Saffari’s departure.
If President Potter doesn’t turn this enrollment trend around, he’ll deserve a termination notice, too. Annually losing millions of dollars in tuition revenue and student fees isn’t the right way to rebrand St. Cloud State.
One of the things that needs dramatic change is the bureaucracy known as the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, aka MNSCU. The situation that’s most troubling is the fact that there isn’t a system of accountability. Presidents at MNSCU’s tech colleges, community colleges and universities report directly to the chancellor of MNSCU.
That’s 31 public colleges and 54 campuses in 47 cities across the state for a single chancellor to keep track of. The chancellor’s office is in the Twin Cities. With campuses in International Falls, Moorhead, East Grand Forks, Ely, Eveleth and Thief River Falls, it’s impossible to think a single chancellor could keep track of what’s happening at these colleges and universities.
Over the past 2 years, I’ve studied this system. In that time, I’ve seen proof that procedures are ignored. When programs are eliminated, MNSCU procedure 3.36.1 requires that the university document 9 specific things. Here’s what MNSCU Procedure 3.36.1 requires:
The academic program closure application must be documented by information, as applicable, regarding
1.academic program need,
2.student enrollment trends,
3.employment of graduates,
4.the financial circumstances affecting the academic program, system college or university,
5.the plan to accommodate students currently enrolled in the academic program,
6.impact on faculty and support staff,
7.consultation with appropriate constituent groups including students, faculty and community,
8.alternatives considered, and
9.other factors affecting academic program operation.
When St. Cloud State closed the Aviation Program, President Potter didn’t provide MNSCU with the required documentation. When he was called out on this, Interim Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs Larry Litecky replied “My staff and I remain persuaded that the university conducted required and appropriate consultations and assessments that informed its decisions.”
This isn’t a matter of being persuaded. It’s a matter of whether President Potter and St. Cloud State provided the documentation justifying the closing of the Aviation program at St. Cloud State. Simply put, MNSCU rubberstamped President Potter’s decision despite the absence of the required documentation.
The MNSCU chancellor theoretically reports to the MNSCU Board of Trustees. I say theoretically because the MNSCU Board of Trustees hasn’t rocked the boat or overruled the chancellor in years. In other words, university presidents can do what they want, knowing that the chancellor will rubberstamp their decisions. The chancellor can do this because he’s certain that the MNSCU Board of Trustees will rubberstamp his decisions.
That would make the legislature the last line of defense. Despite repeated pleas to the committees of jurisdiction, aka the Higher Education committees in the House and Senate, they haven’t conducted oversight hearings on these irregularities and abuses. Thus far, they haven’t held a single hearing on whether there’s a system of accountability in place to make sure that the taxpayers’ money is spent properly or whether the students are getting a quality education.
Right now, it’s impossible for an informed person to think that there’s any accountability built into the system. In the private sector, a manager or director who didn’t require that a major decision be fully documented would be terminated. Larry Litecky wasn’t even slapped on the wrist. In the private sector, a person who told one untruthful justification to the corporation’s president, then told a different untruthful justification to that corporation’s Board of Directors, would be terminated.
At this point, nothing remotely approaching this has happened. Frankly, it’s disheartening to think that the House and Senate Higher Education committees might not rock the boat or conduct legitimate oversight into the serial abuses and outright corruption found in MNSCU.
If university presidents a) won’t follow MNSCU procedures and b) will stonewall faculty demands for why transcripts are being dramatically altered without the professors’ signing off on the changes, that’s a system where corruption will flourish. If the chancellor won’t intervene in such matters, then the board should replace the chancellor and demand that a man or woman of integrity be hired to replace the rubberstamp chancellor.
If the chancellor won’t do that, then the legislature should intervene. They should reform MNSCU that insists on a culture of accountability. They should conduct oversight hearings to find out whether MNSCU is spending money wisely (it isn’t) and providing educations that will help students start a great career when they graduate (that isn’t happening either.)
Don’t students and taxpayers deserve better?
This afternoon, a Democratic strategist was interviewed by Eric Bolling about the pension/bailout situation in Detroit. Showing the intellectual heft of a child going through terrible twos, this strategist asked if anyone would willingly sit across from a retired union worker and tell them “they won’t get their $18,000 a year pension that they paid into”?
Here’s the short answer. I’d volunteer for that responsibility.
While attempting to keep Michigan in the Democrats’ electoral column for 2016, which seems likely, this strategist is portraying this public employee union as a victim. That’s plain wrong. These PEUs campaigned for fiscally irresponsible politicians who promised the PEUs a goose that would continue laying golden eggs forever.
The PEUs bought the politicians’ BS and voted for fiscal irresponsibility. They wanted it. They got it. Now it’s time for them to deal with it. Let’s put it differently. These PEUs made their bed. Now it’s time for them to sleep in it. Next time, don’t vote for fiscally irresponsible politicians.
This strategist apparently thinks that unions that make fiscally foolish choices should be spared the consequences of their foolish decisions. That’s rewarding foolish behavior, which is a shortcut to more foolish behavior.
Finally, this strategist’s argument was disgusting. In terms of intellectual heft, it was the adult equivalent of a spoiled brat’s temper tantrum. There wasn’t anything adult about it. It intentionally played to people’s emotions. While that’s effective in certain situations, it isn’t a sign of intellectual heft.
Frankly, these PEUs and this Democratic strategist needs a timeout, followed by an extended period of adult supervision.
Arne Duncan’s op-ed is nothing more than Arne Duncan’s campaign contribution to Gov. Dayton’s campaign. While Duncan’s op-ed isn’t the total propaganda that Karen Cyson’s monthly column was, (see this post for more on that fiasco) Duncan’s op-ed attempts to bypass the thing that’s got suburban moms hopping mad. Here’s part of Duncan’s op-ed:
President Obama has put forward a plan to make high-quality preschool affordable for all children, a vital step in putting young people on a path to a thriving middle class. As I saw firsthand in a pair of visits in the Minneapolis area on Tuesday, that effort builds on the work of states like Minnesota.
The day began at Pond Early Childhood Family Center in Bloomington, where I sat with students who sang a song, recited the alphabet and discussed some of their favorite words. The visit was an inspiring example of great educators helping kids get ready for kindergarten in a setting of joy and support.
Later Tuesday, Gov. Mark Dayton, Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius, and other leaders from business, the military, government and the clergy, joined a town-hall discussion at Kennedy Senior High School. At that town hall, parents, teachers, education leaders and others from throughout the state made clear that they have seen the power of early learning, and that they know we must reach many more children.
That sounds upbeat, positive. Unfortunately, everything that’s supposedly gained through early learning is lost thanks to the education establishment. This post highlights how much the education establishment fights against putting high quality teachers in classrooms:
Despite the pleas of numerous education advocates, school leaders, a state senator and even a fired-up grandmother, the Minnesota Board of Teaching voted 9-2 Friday to end a licensing arrangement that has made it easier for Twin Cities schools to hire Teach for America (TFA) corps members.
Unsatisfied that the group’s recruits meet its standards despite evidence presented by TFA and its supporters, the board decided it would prefer to screen each individual potential teacher, a process that will take six to eight weeks.
The Minnesota Board of Teaching is a farce. They don’t care about teaching credentials. If they did, they would’ve spoken out about all the teachers that got waivers after they didn’t pass the Basic Skills Test that the legislature started requiring in 2011. Gov. Dayton signed that into law, just like he signed the law’s repeal this year.
Literally hundreds of teachers statewide got waivers after they failed the test.
This is what’s wrong with the process:
The state’s largest teachers’ union, Education Minnesota, has campaigned against TFA’s expansion in the state, last month organizing letters and phone calls successfully calling on Dayton to veto a $1.5 million appropriation that would have helped the program meet demand.
Five of the board members, all Dayton appointees, have union leadership positions. Two represent traditional teacher preparation programs, whose association also has lobbied against TFA.
Secretary Duncan, how can Minnesota be a visionary when the DFL’s political allies stand in the way of putting high quality teachers in each classroom? There’s no questioning the statement that great educational outcomes require great teachers in each classroom across Minnesota. Right now, Education Minnesota and the Minnesota Board of Teaching are fighting against a law that’s been successful in other states.
How dare these fossils of the education establishment stand in the way of putting great teacher into Minnesota’s classrooms. A look at Education Minnesota’s website shows what their priorities are. Nowhere on their website does it talk about students or educational outcomes. There are links where it talks about candidate training for the legislature, though.
Education Minnesota’s leadership is about representing union members. They aren’t interested in improving teacher quality or educational outcomes. Their website says that with their silence.
Tags: Education Minnesota, Minnesota Board of Teaching, U.S. Department of Education, Arne Duncan, Mark Dayton, Special Interests, Candidate Training, DFL, Teach for America, Alternative Teacher Licensure, Students, MNGOP
I’ve written alot about the fiscal mismanagement happening at SCSU. A prime example of the mismanagement is the lease President Potter signed with the J.A. Wedum Foundation, which I wrote about here. According to SCSU’s records, they’ve lost a fistful of money:
Coborn’s Plaza apartments have been a well-kept secret since they opened in the fall of 2010. Even getting accurate occupancy numbers during the first two years was difficult and only given in whispers with those hearing the secrets being sworn to secrecy. Some of that secrecy ended November 13, 2012 when Len Sippel, Interim Vice President for Finance and Administration, released the list of approved funding for permanent investments that included $2,250,000 for the “Coborn’s Welcome Center.”
This eye-popping number actually covers the deficit for Coborn’s Plaza for the last two years so the loss only averages $1,125,000 per year. The amount of the loss for the first year for Coborn’s Plaza has never been shared with the Faculty Association or made public. As a result, one is left to imagine that it is even larger than the annual loss for the last two years. What has apparently been a tremendous deal for the Coborn’s Corporation and the J. A. Wedum Foundation has, without a doubt, been and will continue to be a financial boondoggle for SCSU.
That’s the headline waste of money by quite a bit. That said, this waste of money was brought to my attention by a faithful reader of this blog:
According to SCSU documents, Professor Tracey Ore is in charge of the SCSU Community Garden. Her salary is approximately $73,000 a year. Though I haven’t confirmed it because SCSU’s transparency is practically nonexisten, I’ve been told that 42% of Dr. Ore’s comp time is for the community garden.
Based on the looks of things, the SCSU Community Garden is a great success…if success is judged by bumper crops of weeds. I’d love hearing President Potter justify spending $30,000 a year on that community garden. Frankly, it’s a ripoff. The taxpayers, again, are getting stiffed by a president who isn’t setting the right priorities and who isn’t taking important issues seriously.
Friday night on Almanac, former Rep. Karla Bigham said that this DFL legislature would be known as the education legislature. If she meant that the DFL legislature marched to the orders of Education Minnesota, she’s certainly right. If she meant that this DFL legislature improved educational outcomes, Rep. Bigham couldn’t be further from the truth.
Throwing more money into a broken system isn’t an accomplishment. And, yes, it’s a broken system. In 2011, the GOP legislature included a provision requiring teachers to pass a basic skills test to teach high school math and science in their education omnibus bill. A year later, teachers were given waivers because they couldn’t pass the test. That meant teachers kept teaching even though they couldn’t meet the most important requirement for a teacher to meet.
These inept teachers won’t flunk the basic skills test thanks to the DFL legislature. It isn’t because they suddenly became better teachers. That’s because the DFL legislature repealed the law this year. They didn’t fix the problem. Instead, they voted to hide the problem. Sort of.
When students graduate that aren’t grade proficient, people will notice. Mostly, moms and minorities will notice. Then they’ll get upset.
Education Minnesota insists on anti-accountability policies. Here’s what their new president said:
Denise Specht, the new president, opposes Teach for America. Said Specht, “When you have somebody on your team that you’re worried about whether they’re prepared or whether they have the tools that are necessary to do well, that’s a concern for everyone.”
For the record, Specht opposes making it easier for schools to fire unqualified teachers. That’s why they lobbied hard to repeal the basic skills test.
Predictably, the DFL legislature gave Education Minnesota exactly what they wanted.
That isn’t the only thing the “Education Legislature” did this session. They gave us this gem of a policy:
Under the new laws, all Minnesota public school boards can collect up to $300 per student without a referendum.
Previously, most of the money districts wanted to collect in property taxes beyond its general tax levy had to be approved by voters.
In addition, the state is allowing districts outside the metro area with more than 2,000 students to collect an additional $212 without voter approval. St. Cloud would actually collect $585 per student in 2014, or about $6.8 million a year.
To continue to collect the full amount beyond 2014, when St. Cloud’s existing levy expires, the district would have to ask voters to renew the $73 per-student difference. That $73 is worth about $750,000 a year to St. Cloud school district.
It changes the landscape in several ways for St. Cloud. First, it’s easier to ask for renewal of $750,000 than $6.8 million. And second, if the vote fails, it is easier to sustain reductions of $750,000 than $6.8 million.
In other words, the legislature essentially gave school boards the authority to run levies on autopilot. Thanks to the DFL legislature, there’s virtually no accountability for school board budgets.
To summarize, this year’s DFL legislature voted to eliminate teacher accountability to the students and school district accountability to taxpayers.
If that’s the DFL’s definition of an “Education Legislature”, then Minnesotans should give the DFL this title: The best legislature that special interests can buy.