Peter Swanson

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State’s integration program scrutinized


By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer


Since a 2005 State legislative auditor’s report that called for more clarity on the State’s Integration Revenue Program, some, including many members of the Minnesota Legislature, are asking whether State funding to integrate schools, which is set to expire in 2013, should be expanded, repurposed or eliminated. In its final report released in February, the legislature’s 12-member Integration Revenue Replacement Task Force recommendations include the creation of an Achievement and Integration for Minnesota program, and examining if a Metropolitan Integration School District is needed to serve all metro-area districts that receive integration funds. The task force also recommended that the existing Integration Revenue Program stay at the current level, and that the law define percentages for how funds are spent: at least 80 percent on students and 20 percent on professional development and administration, with administrative costs not to exceed 10 percent. The task force recommendations were almost identical to those that came late last year from the Minnesota School Integration Council (MSIC) report on State integration funding. MSIC recommended that the components of the current Minnesota Desegregation Rule prohibiting “intentional segregation” remain, and that the State establish an Educational Equity Through Integration program that would require all districts to participate in the program. Legislators will make the final decision on which of the recommendations will be implemented. Continue Reading →

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