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School District progress should be measured by results, not by how much money is spent. It’s no secret that the School District’s debt has increased drastically over the past 5 to 7 years, while student proficiency scores in math, reading, writing and science have for the most part declined.

The School District’s consultant, Nexus has been paid more than $25 million since initially hired under questionable business practice, and has been a key driver in running up the District debt. The $25 million was not used to pay teachers, purchase land for schools, build classroom space or pay for needed materials and supplies. While an Administration official downplayed the amount Nexus was paid by stating that some of the $25 million went to Nexus vendors, the official also advised that the District had no information regarding how the dollars were distributed between Nexus and its selected vendors. This does not reflect effective fiscal management or oversight by School District Administration or the Board.

I have no reason to doubt that every elected School Board Member serves with good intention, but I also have no doubt that their good intentions are no match for the opportunists who are skilled at removing taxpayer dollars from the District’s coffers. Based on the hundreds of millions of dollars worth of properties being managed, and an annual budget exceeding $100 million, one would hope that those serving on our school board would be experienced in high level finance. Unfortunately, that’s not the case and, unfortunately, it’s rare when an individual with that experience volunteers to be a candidate for school board.

Now some hope. Let me introduce you to Bill Markert who has served as the Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer in high tech business prior to his retirement. Fortunately, Bill and his wife reside in our School District, and he has agreed to be a candidate for school board. He has observed, as I have, the poor correlation between student scores and money spent over the past 5 to 7 years. Bill would be an incredible asset on the Board, and hopefully others with similar backgrounds may be motivated to step forward to help get our District back on course, academically and financially. I would personally encourage every taxpayer to support Bill’s candidacy, both with your time and your dollars.

Any resident who is interested can contact Bill directly to gain his insight into the District’s fiscal management problem, and what his approach would be to get it fixed, if elected. You can contact Bill at wdmarkert@gmail.com or 612-965-8612.

Wes Mader

  1. By Shaymus McLaughlin, 23 hrs ago

The superintendent of Prior Lake-Savage Area Schools — thrust into the national spotlight over two students’ racist social media video — has resigned.

Superintendent Dr. Teri Staloch’s exit was first revealed during Tuesday night’s Savage City Council meeting. Toward the end of the session, Mayor Janet Williams said she had recently received an update on what the district has been doing to address the racist video, then noted she wasn’t sure if she “could say the other comment or not.”

After a brief hesitation, Williams continued: “The superintendent of the Prior Lake Savage School district has resigned. So that’s going to be at the board meeting on Monday.”

The council then moved on to a different topic.

The district has since confirmed Staloch’s exit to Bring Me The News, noting she told staff about her departure Tuesday. The district also provided an email, sent to district families and community members Wednesday morning, noting her resignation will take effect on June 30. She will officially submit her letter of resignation at an upcoming board meeting.

Staloch, in the letter, explains why she’s leaving.

“I have accepted a new position that will allow me to pursue a career opportunity in the private sector,” her letter reads. “Although I was not actively searching for a new job, I am excited to use my skills, passion and experiences to continue to support school districts and advance educational opportunities for students in a different way.”

Staloch, named superintendent of the district in 2015, became one of the key public faces during the national outcry over the racist video that emerged last November. In the clip, two Prior Lake High School students are laughing while repeatedly uttering racial slurs. They also suggest a student of color — 14-year-old Nya Sigin, who later publicly identified herself as the target — kill herself.

Her sister, Elizabeth Sigin, spoke at a school board meeting just before Thanksgiving to address racism in the district, during which multiple board members walked out more than once, before returning to end the meeting.

Staloch, the following month, confirmed publicly the student seen in the video was no longer enrolled in the district. The case was also sent to the Scott County Attorney’s Office, which planned to review it for possible criminal charges.

Bring Me The News has reached out to the county attorney’s office for an update.

Staloch, meanwhile, said in her letter she did not make her resignation decision “lightly,” noting she has been in public education for more than three decades.

“I have had a rich and rewarding career serving students and four different school districts across all levels of E-12 education and in higher education,” she wrote. “I have embraced each opportunity and each challenge. And I have loved working with amazing colleagues, students, families, and community members, like you, dedicated to improving life chances for all students so they can reach their full potential.”

Please read more from Bring Me The News at the link below  ⬇️  Thanks 🙏

https://share.newsbreak.com/jlwwcus5

Eric Rasmussen KSTP 

Updated: February 17, 2022 – 6:21 PM

Published: February 17, 2022 – 5:08 PM

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Minnesota has filed a lawsuit that could lead to the seizure of more than a dozen properties — office buildings, single-family homes, and lakefront lots — all connected to what investigators called a ‘massive fraud scheme’ involving public money meant to help feed children in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Federal agents raided several locations associated with Feeding our Future in January. The non-profit organization received nearly $200 million last year in Federal Child Nutrition Funds through the U.S. Department of Agriculture, according to search warrant applications filed in court.

In a separate civil filing, federal prosecutors are now seeking the forfeiture of 14 properties that they say were purchased with those federal funds.

“Conspirators misappropriated the money and used it to purchase real estate, cars, and other luxury items,” wrote Craig Baune, Assistant U.S. Attorney. “To date, the conspirators have stolen millions of dollars in federal funds.”

The forfeiture action identifies several non-profit organizations that were sponsored by Feeding our Future to serve meals around the Twin Cities and throughout the state.

Prosecutors say $575,000 in federal funds were used to buy a house in Savage.

$2.8 million in federal funds went to purchase a historic mansion on Park Avenue in south Minneapolis that was converted to office space, according to the complaint.

Prosecutors also allege more than $1 million in federal funds were used to buy two lakefront lots on Prior lake last year.

“They are the proceeds of the fraud scheme and were involved in money laundering transactions and are traceable to such property,” Baune wrote in the complaint.

The government said it is not seeking to immediately seize the properties in question, but rather file notices of the pending lawsuit in county property records.

So far, no one has been arrested in connection with the federal investigation of Feeding our Future.

Aimee Bock, the non-profit’s founder and executive director, has not been charged with a crime.

Bock has not responded to interview requests from 5 INVESTIGATES. Her attorney, Kenneth Udoibok, declined to comment on the forfeiture case, but asserted his client’s innocence.

“Based on a review of this case… I have doubts that the government will indict Ms. Bock,” Udoibok said. “The search warrant, on its face, does not posit any evidence of criminality.”

Please read more at the link below ⬇️ Thanks 🙏

https://kstp.com/kstp-news/top-news/feds-could-seize-properties-connected-to-feeding-our-future-investigation/

Thank you to everyone who participated in caucus last night.

🇺🇸 GOP caucuses bring out sense of energy; Jensen winning straw poll for governor

Democrats were able to participate by essentially emailing in their choices for delegates and other ideas for the party’s platform of issues.

Energized at the prospects of gaining ground in November’s election and unified over a sense of purpose, ardent Republicans gathered across Minnesota on Tuesday night in small groups to plan their push.

The events — some 4,000 events, actually — were precinct caucuses, small community meetings that begin the process of endorsing candidates running for office in November’s election, which will affect nearly every elected office from county commissioners up to the governor.

The headline to come out of the night would be the result of the straw poll for governor, where the field of candidates seeking to challenge Gov. Tim Walz, a DFLer, has grown crowded.

Former state Sen. Scott Jensen, a family physician who gained prominence by expressing doubts on COVID-19 vaccines, took a strong lead over all others early into the evening.

The poll carries no actual impact, but serves to take the pulse of the party faithful as campaigns are ramping up.

GOVERNOR STRAW POLL

With nearly 93 percent of precincts reporting, here were the results:

•Former state Sen. Scott Jensen, a Chaska physician who has led the field in fundraising: 38 percent;

* State Sen. Paul Gazelka of East Gull Lake, the former Senate Majority leader: 14 percent;

* Dr. Neil Shah, a dermatologist from North Oaks: 12 percent;

* Kendall Qualls, a former health care executive and Army veteran: 11 percent;

* Lexington Mayor Mike Murphy: 11 percent;

* State Sen. Michelle Benson of Ham Lake, who has chaired key human services committees: 7 percent;

* Undecided: 7 percent;

* Former Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek announced his candidacy Tuesday. Stanek’s name was not printed on ballots, and official party results did not include a tally for him.

Beyond the straw poll, caucuses serve as the base level of grassroots organizing, where people decide which delegates will attend a series of larger gatherings later in the year, culminating with the state convention wherein the party will formally endorse a candidate. Endorsements are not legally binding — any candidate can still enter their name in the August primary. However, that practice is frowned upon — more so in the GOP than with Democrats.

Caucuses also allow regular folks to bring up ideas they want to see in their party platforms — documents intended to reflect the ideals and issues a party stands for.

“It’s important for us to be involved at the grassroots level,” said Gavin Woodland, who came to caucuses at Waconia High School with his wife, Cassy, their 2-year-old daughter — who would certainly be up well past bedtime — and Cassy’s mother, Jane Norton.

It was worth attending, despite the likelihood the toddler would make them pay for it later, Gavin said. “This is where you can feel the impact.”

ISSUES ON THEIR MINDS

Woodland echoed a sentiment voiced by a number of caucus attendees, who said they felt the country — and the state — had changed for the worse.

“We’ve seen a lot of morals taken out of life, out of school, out of government,” he said. “This is not the Minnesota we grew up in.”

Please read more link below  ⬇️  🙏 John

https://www.twincities.com/2022/02/01/minnesota-republicans-caucuses-bring-out-sense-of-energy-shared-purpose/amp/

🚨 Action Over #Complacency! 🇺🇸 ⚖️ 🦅

Get involved and stay involved!

It all starts with attending your local precinct caucuses!

Minnesota’s precinct caucuses are coming up on Feb. 1, 2022

CAUCUS LOCATOR 👀 MINNETOSA ⬇️

https://caucusfinder.sos.state.mn.us/