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  • I have no reason to doubt that every member of the school board for Prior Lake-Savage Area Schools wants the best for our kids, but good intentions without the courage to lead and provide oversight doesn’t work.

School safety, racial allegations, distance learning and other distractions have burdened the district’s children with more emotional stress than they need. So, can someone on the school board please tell us how questioning students (including seventh-grade boys and girls) about how often they have sex, and with how many different partners, will reduce that stress?

Does it help to ask children if they’ve considered or attempted suicide, or whether they identify as asexual, bisexual, pansexual, gay, lesbian or something else? I cannot imagine any rationale where that kind of questioning at school helps emotionally stressed kids. Nevertheless, students were asked to respond to these kinds of personal questions in a 112-question survey recently administered in our district.

Of course, I didn’t learn about this from a district newsletter or the superintendent’s newspaper columns. I learned about it from distraught parents who learned, after the fact, what their children were being asked.

To learn more, I questioned a district spokesperson. The written response I received was that the survey was a “collaboration of local schools and MN Departments of Education, Health, Human Services and Public Safety” and that the board members neither “approve or disapprove any survey.” I emailed the chair of the school board to verify if that was true. My two emails went unanswered.

Asking PLSAS grade-schoolers about their sexual activity is not a new phenomenon. In 2018, I discovered the district had administered a similar survey to children as young as the sixth-grade, without parental knowledge or approval. Believing that was in direct violation of both state law (121A.065) and federal law (Protection of Pupil Rights Act), I subsequently expressed concern in writing to the board chair. He responded as though he was unaware and unconcerned, but advised in writing that he would refer the matter to the superintendent. I heard nothing back.

I subsequently made the difficult decision to refer the matter (including a copy of the survey) to Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison and Mary Ricker,

commissioner of the Department of Education. In effect, the response I received from the attorney general’s office was that it was not their problem, and from the Department of Education that I had no standing to file a complaint since I didn’t have a child in the school.

I believe this level of uncontrolled bureaucracy is what some writers have referred to as “the deep state,” in which unelected bureaucrats set policy and priorities based upon their political persuasion instead of what’s right under the intent of the law.

School board members should represent and be accountable to parents and residents. Rubberstamping policies and procedures prepared by the superintendent or administration or, worse, by politically appointed bureaucrats in St. Paul, without meaningful oversight, is wrong. 

Wes Mader

Prior Lake

Please read more at the Prior Lake American  ⬇️ 🇺🇸 ⚖️ 🦅

https://www.swnewsmedia.com/prior_lake_american/letter-school-board-must-be-accountable/article_aec147a2-ecc5-11ec-b503-af8a9346f06f.html 

Thank you to all who served or are serving our great country. God bless and everyone have a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend! 🇺🇸 ♥️ 🇺🇸 🤍 🇺🇸 💙

Always Remember Never Forget the generations of Men and Women who sacrificed for our Freedom, Values, and Way of life. Praying for all those serving today!

#MemorialDayWeekend  ✨🌟 🇺🇸 ♥️ ⚖️ 🤍 🦅  💙 🌟✨

#MemorialDay2022 ✨🌟 🇺🇸 ⚖️ 🦅 ♥️🤍💙🌟✨

#HonorTheFallen 🇺🇸  

Memorial Day Tribute-Ronald Reagan Memorial

https://youtu.be/OxZhy3P1x0M

  1. Save the date

    Lakefront Master Plan

    Open House

    Wednesday May., 25th 4-7 PM

    Location-Lakefront Pavilion

    Review the Draft Concept Plan & Provide Your Input

    Click here to visit the project StoryMap where you can learn about the draft concept plan, watch a video, and see example images of proposed park feature

    Please read more at the link below ⬇️

    https://hkgi.mysocialpinpoint.com/prior-lake-lakefront-park-master-plan

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