Driving to the event was an event in itself, with hundreds of Eden Prairie, Minnesota residents lining the street and corners of the High School entrance waving picket signs. “Fire Krull” screamed one sign, referring to Superintendent Melissa Krull.
What had gotten these Eden Prairie parents fired up was a proposed re-drawing of elementary school boundaries. According to the Eden Prairie Sun Current in the October 14, 2010 issue, “new boundaries could affect an estimated 1,100 elementary student beginning next year.” The controversial proposal would force some students to be bussed to a school far away from the school closest to their residence.
The concern is that there are too many recipients of free/reduced school lunches attending one of the elementary schools. The new map would force this population to be spread out among the other four schools. Despite the fact that Eden Prairie, Minnesota, was rated the #1 “Best Place to Live” according to the August 2010 issue of Money Magazine, there are many people living below the “poverty line”. There is a large population of Somali and other immigrants in Eden Prairie living in subsidized housing. According to the school district’s web site, 42% of Forest Hills Elementary School students receive free or reduced priced school lunches.
The picket signs and protestors may not affect the decision, as there will be no vote. Superintendent Krull is to make a final decision on the boundary map next month.
After negotiating through the screaming parents, probably there to get publicity for their cause during the Money Take Charge event, I was able to find a parking spot in the almost full lot and proceeded to walk to the well marked entrance. There were no protestors on school property. I just had to cautiously edge by a group of high school girls practicing their color guard routine. Being a little shaken by the protestors, I kept on the lookout for any long, sharp, out-of-control spinning flags flying in my direction.
Eden Prairie Sun; Paul Groessel; “Emotions Run High at Eden Prairie Schools boundary meeting”
Eden Prairie Schools District Website
Money Magazine; “Best Places to Live 2010”