Minneapolis school attendance down in wake of bus passes

  • Article by: STEVE BRANDT , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 13, 2012 - 11:08 PM

Almost half of Minneapolis bus pass users got to school less often.

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nzieglerDec. 13, 12 8:12 PM

Interesting way to subsidize public transportation.

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raleighmamaDec. 13, 12 8:41 PM

What people need to know is that the State pays the district based on daily attendance. So when attendance is down, revenue from the State drops. Several years ago the Minneapolis district was hurting financially from the number of suspensions, because when a student is suspended it's counted as an absence.

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jeffportDec. 13, 12 8:43 PM

Home room attendance being taken? Parent teacher conferences being attended? Phone calls home to the parents being done? What did they think was going to happen when you give kids a free ride to anywhere? Get back back to neighborhood schools (increase taxes only if it goes to support the schools), Make parents responsible for their child's attendance. Now we all know why the country is lacking educationally in the world in comparison to other countries.

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gophfan10101Dec. 13, 12 8:46 PM

SHOCKED! How stupid was this program. Of course kids are going to skip. Is there anything the government does that doesn't end up being a total mess?

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sulringDec. 13, 12 8:48 PM

Give the kids wheels and then express surprise that they use them to skip school...Wow.....This should not be a surprise to anyone who was once upon a time a high school student themselves... I do like the concept of allowing kids a way to take later buses back home so as to take better advantage of after school activities...

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minn12Dec. 13, 12 8:55 PM

Another failed experiment. Didn't anyone think this would happen? How hard could it have been to anticipate this? How about passes that DON'T WORK during core school hours??

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ishtar43Dec. 13, 12 9:30 PM

The money for transporting students is enormous. Open enrollment means a lot of additional costs as parents and students can choose to go to schools that are beyond the neighborhood, district, and city borders. But, having just quit MPS after 23 years of teaching special education, I have to say that the biggest questionable issue, financially, is the propagation of more and more administrators that never will be in front of students involved with teaching and learning. The beautiful ESC on Broadway is a wonderful, high-tech monument to administration and bureaucracy. When I stated concerns to an attorney who understands the MPS district, the lawyer's response was, "You're talking about incompetence. Incompetence is systematic in MPS." Please, if you are concerned about fiscal waste in education, read the October, 2012 report by Benjamin Scafidi titled "The School Staffing Surge: Decades of Employment Growth in America’s Public Schools" and notice fig. 1 on page 4.... This is why the Minneapolis tax payers are being asked for more and more from Dr. Johnson and the board- to hire more people that will never set foot in a classroom and engage the students in learning... Scafidi's report- http://www.edchoice.org/CMSModules/EdChoice/FileLibrary/931/The-School-Staffing-Surge--Decades-of-Employment-Growth-in-Americas-Public-Schools.pdf

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drposterDec. 13, 12 9:32 PM

I know how to fix this, lets raise property taxes! More money to the MPLS school district will help. Really, the poor children are not attending because there are not enough teachers, TA's, laptops..

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rlwr51Dec. 13, 12 9:47 PM

Gee - who could have foreseen that????? When you cater to a weakness (missing the bus in this case) you create more weakness. Now the transit system is expected to take over the schools job of monitoring it's students? How much extra police time is required? What happens when a hundred or more high school students converge on the same bus stop at the end of the day? What about students who live in on a crappy bus route and/or have to transfer downtown? Would you want your 14 year old daughter downtown on a bus stop twice a day? I believe this is costing more money than school buses. You would think that people who make that much money would be smarter than that.

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roymercerDec. 13, 1210:14 PM

The kiddies are the MoA planning their next holiday riot.

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