MREA submitted written comments on the possible Amendment to Rules Governing School Desegregation/Integration.
The 2013 Legislature amended the Achievement and Integration Statutes 124D.861 and 124D.862. The Minnesota Department of Education created an advisory group and proposed rules to implement these statutes.
MREA supports the overall direction of these rules to count American Indian (AMI) students among the protected classes of students and requiring the AMI Parent Committees in each affected district to determine whether AMI students will participate and to be consulted with in planning programming.
Should a district have over 20 percent protected students, including AMI students, the district is required to create an Achievement and Integration plan. Surrounding districts may choose to enter a collaborative with that district.
MREA raised concerns regarding the implications when a Parent Committee chooses not to have AMI students participate. Without those AMI students, the district could fail to meet the 20 percent threshold to require a district to write a plan.
The rule as written appears to continue to require the district to file a plan and does not provide a means for an adjustment of the applicability of the rule.
MREA requested that should a parent committee choose not to participate that AMI students not be counted as protected class students for the purposes of this statute, because without the AMI students, there may not be 20 percent protected class students, and districts should not then be required to write a plan.