Sunday, March 20, 2011

GOP Seeks Elimination of School Desegregation Rules

In a breathtaking move, Minnesota Republicans have proposed to repeal regulations that enshrine racial integration as a goal of the Minnesota public school system.

Monday morning, GOP State Rep. Pat Garofalo (R - Farmington) will hold hearings on the omnibus education finance bill. It's chock full of veto bait, including a ban on teacher's strikes, 70% reductions in school integration funding, and a private school voucher program for students in Minneapolis, St. Paul and Duluth. But perhaps the most outrageous provisions are buried in a repealer:
(b) Minnesota Statutes 2010, section 124D.86, subdivisions 1, 1a, 2, 4, 5, and 6; and Minnesota Rules, parts 3535.0100; 3535.0110; 3535.0120; 3535.0130; 3535.0140; 3535.0150; 3535.0160; 3535.0170; and 3535.0180, are repealed.
It's well-known that Republicans would target school integration aid, which is the subject of Section 124D.86. But the repeal of the regulations under part 3535 would literally remove "Minnesota's commitment to the importance of integration in its public schools" from Minnesota regulations. Additionally, it would eliminate regulations requiring collection of data about segregation and requiring action to integrate racially segregated schools.

Words fail me. Rep. Garofalo's committee meets at 9:00 AM in State Office Building Room 5.

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