Minneapolis schools might add three autonomous schoolsby Tom Weber, Minnesota Public Radio
Minneapolis, Minn. — The Minneapolis School Board will decide in January whether to give as many as three schools more autonomy than traditional district schools.
The new schools would be part of the Minneapolis district but decisions on everything from curriculum to spending would be made by a local board at each school. The schools would also have to pay the district for things like utilities.
Jon Bacal, with the district's Office of New Schools, says it's an experiment that has shown promise in other cities and is worth trying in Minneapolis.
"Children have different learning needs and we want to take advantage of it and give our educators an opportunity to create successful schools," he said. "There's no evidence that having a school self-governed, non-self-governed, charter, or non-charter makes a school better or worse. You have to look at each school on the merits.
"And each school that Minneapolis works with will be held accountable on a clear performance agreement."
The district has applications for three schools: a French Immersion school; a science-themed charter school; and a charter school tailored for East African immigrants.