Star Tribune: Cost vs. benefit steers debate over future of integration aid

Corey Mitchell writes in the Star Tribune: “Cost vs. benefit steers debate over future of integration aid.”

The current state program to help promote integrated classrooms expires in 2013 and the 12-member task force faces a February deadline on whether to continue spending the money to combat segregation, or, as GOP members of the Legislature have argued, use the money for literacy programs and other efforts to narrow the state’s achievement gap between white and nonwhite students.

Ending school segregation and closing the achievement gap should be dual goals, state Rep. Carlos Mariani, DFL-St. Paul and a task force member, argued Tuesday.

“If this turns into a choice between integration and closing the achievement gap, that’s a false choice,” Mariani said. “There’s no winning that.”

Fun fact: the Star Tribune article includes a picture of Jeff Parker from the EMID-SOS community input session at Crosswinds in September 2011!