State expenditures aid racial and economic integration in diverse districts
By Laci Gagliano
Sun Post Newspapers
The Robbinsdale Area Schools board discussed an achievement and integration plan for the next three years at its Feb. 6 meeting. Director of Achievement and Integration Tamuriel Grace presented the plan, which enables the district to receive an education grant.
Grace discussed findings that the district qualifies as a racially isolated district, which the state legislature defines as a district with an enrollment at least 20 percent higher than adjoining districts of students who identify either as multiracial or within racial categories referred to in the legislation’s language as protected students.
“The purpose of the Achievement and Integration for Minnesota program is to pursue racial and economic integration, increase student achievement, create equitable educational opportunities, and reduce academic disparities based on students’ diverse racial, ethnic, and economic backgrounds in Minnesota public schools,” Grace explained.
Grace said that the plan was developed in adherence with the Minnesota statutes and rules mandating that a certain percentage of district funding must be allocated toward economic and racial integration and achievement efforts.
“Funding revenue is yearly,” she said. “We have to submit the budget for approval each year based on the AI plan goals and objectives. We have to re-do the grant every three years.”
The total achievement integration revenue anticipated by the district is $2,840,981.81.
Two schools within the district are categorized by the legislation as racially identifiable, which according to state administrative rules means there are more than 20 percent more protected students enrolled than in the entire district for the grade levels the school serves.
Northport Elementary and Meadow Lake Elementary both qualify as racially identifiable.
Goals identified within the plan include increasing the number of students who are career and college ready, increasing the district’s graduation rate, and closing racial and economic gaps in achievement. The AI revenue will be applied toward these efforts.
“The goals presented will be carried out in a collaborative, coordinated effort with district employees, our equity specialists, and family engagement staff who work directly with our students and families,” Grace said. “Pursuing these goals will have an immediate impact on our students and families. We plan to carry out our goals by working across the district, aligning the work of the achievement and integration plan with our Unified District Vision and the goals of the World’s Best Workforce legislation.”
The school board must submit the fully developed plans for its AI revenue spending to the state by March 15.
Contact Laci Gagliano at [email protected]