What is the Minneapolis School Board?
The Minneapolis School Board is a nine-person board that governs the Minneapolis Public School district. These nine school board directors are elected officials by Minneapolis voters to represent Minneapolis taxpayers' interests in the governance of Minneapolis Public Schools. The primary duties of the Minneapolis School Board is to create policy for the entire, approve the budget each school year, and select and manage the superintendent. This school board also has the power to increase property taxes to supplement the funding for the school district. School board directors in Minneapolis are paid a small annual salary to compensate them for their time.
To find the contact information of your school board director or how to contact the full, please visit: https://board.mpls.k12.mn.us/contact
How does the Minneapolis School Board Work?
Every month (except July), the full school board meets twice a month with the Superintendent and other staff members of district leadership. On the second Tuesday of the month, the school board comes together for their business meeting. This is a meeting where they vote on policy items, recommendations from the superintendent, approve contracts and budgets, and other procedural items. To approve items in front of the board requires a simple majority of the board directors present to start the meeting. At least five of the board members must be present to hold a meeting to vote. Most often, all board members are present at voting meetings. So most decisions require at least five votes to approve any item. The board can only act as one body, so one school board member cannot make a decision in a classroom, school building, or for the district without the support of at least four other board members.
Business meetings are also the meeting where members of the public can address the full school board at a school board meeting during public comment. Each member of the public is given two minutes to share whatever message they want to share with the school board. The public comment portion of the meeting begins at 5:30PM and the business meeting begins after the public comment time ends.
If you are interested in speaking at a school board meeting, you can sign up for public comment beginning four days before the meeting. You can learn more about the guidelines for public comment here: https://board.mpls.k12.mn.us/comment.
On the fourth Tuesday of the month, the full school board comes together for their Committee of the Whole meeting. This meeting is an opportunity for MPS district leadership to provide an update and present information to the school board to help inform future decisions. During this meeting school board directors ask questions, provide feedback, and can request more information about a given topic. No voting takes place during these meetings.
Both of these meetings are open to the public to attend. They take place at 1250 W Broadway, Minneapolis, MN 55411. You can also watch these meetings live online or you can watch a recording of a previous meeting. All materials for both the school board's business meeting and the Committee of the Whole meeting must be posted online the Friday before the meeting for the public to review before the meeting.
School board directors participate in several other meetings as well. The school board has a few subcommittees where members of the subcommittee do some pre-work to get recommendations ready for the full school board to consider. They also sit on several external councils to collaborate with other agencies. Finally, they also have a private meeting with the Superintendent each month to discuss items that must be kept private from the public such as personnel items and pending lawsuits.
How Do School Board Elections Work?
Any resident who is an eligible voter in Minneapolis can vote in the school board election because you are a Minneapolis taxpayer. It is a common misconception that only individuals who have children who attend Minneapolis Public Schools can vote in the Minneapolis School Board election. The decisions of the Minneapolis School Board affect all Minneapolis residents from property taxes, to building maintenance, to academic outcomes However, the decisions of voters most deeply impacts the students, families, and staff of Minneapolis Public Schools.
As stated above there are nine school board directors in Minneapolis. Three of the Minneapolis School Board directors run in elections citywide (like the mayor). The other six school board directors run in elections to represent the six different districts in Minneapolis (similar to city council). All of these school board directors have the same responsibilities, have the same amount of power, and each are on the school board for four years. They just run in different elections based on where they live and to represent residents in different areas in the city. While you are represented by a specific school board director, the school board can only make decisions for the entire district as one body. So the school board representative that represents your area cannot make a decision to address your specific issue alone, and school board directors from other areas must be involved in making that decision.
In order to avoid Minneapolis Public Schools having nine new school board members after each election, the school board directors' terms are staggered. On presidential election years, one citywide school board seat (At-Large) and school board seats in District 2, 4, and 6 are up for election in Minneapolis. On years when the Minnesota governor is up for election, two At-Large school board seats and school board seats in District 1, 3, and 5 are up for election.
To learn more about the Minneapolis School Board, please visit: https://board.mpls.k12.mn.us/
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