On a 6-3 vote, Minneapolis school board approves controversial redistricting plan

By Our Turn

The Minneapolis school board on Tuesday approved a sweeping and controversial plan that will reshape the state’s third-largest school district for years to come and shuffle thousands of students to new schools.

The school board voted 6-3 in favor of Superintendent Ed Graff’s redistricting plan for Minneapolis Public Schools during a virtual meeting, against the wishes of many parents and teachers who pleaded for the board to delay its vote until the pandemic subsides and public comment could resume.

Graff’s plan will redraw attendance boundaries and reduce and relocate magnet schools to the center of the city in an effort to address racial disparities, a nagging achievement gap and an anticipated budget deficit of nearly $20 million. The district’s current structure has led to yearly budget shortfalls, more segregated schools and worse outcomes for North Side students, leaders say.

“Over the last 10 years, so many North Side schools have been purposefully … under-enrolled to support schools across the district,” said school board member Kimberly Caprini, who voted in favor of the plan. “This is academic justice for a system that has failed black and brown children.”

District officials say the redesign will help achieve better racial balance and avoid the potential shuttering of under-enrolled schools.

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