Editor's note: The author submitted this letter on behalf of Parents for District 112.
We would like to unravel the inaccurate statements written by Mr. Kevin Kramer in his recent op-ed ("We need to do better," Nov. 21).
There were three lawyers who scrutinized the Alpha News video before it was published. It is an accurate portrayal of those hired to do equity work and brings to light the agenda being pushed into Eastern Carver County Schools. While the school board called the video "glossy," they were never able to dispute the facts within it.
Mr. Kramer and the school board have called our group "outsiders." In fact, all participants are stakeholders in the community, including parents and grandparents of ECC students. We have every right to be here, despite the constant harping otherwise. The Edina parent Kramer referenced actually relocated to Chanhassen to move her kids away from the failed Edina equity program.
Conversely, the ECC Equity Advisory Council has brought in outsiders from the failing Minneapolis system. Meanwhile, three EAC members are suing the district. Furthermore, their ROAR petition contained signatures from as far away as California, with no scrutiny.
Our Concerned Parents group spent $1,718.01 on our "Vote No" campaign, hardly "well-funded" as has been contended by Mr. Kramer. Compare that to the $57,258+ spent by the district (your taxpayer dollars) for their campaign, as per a Sept. 3 data request. The "Vote Yes" group has not yet submitted their finance report, so we are unaware of their expenses.
Our "vote no" campaign has never had a political litmus test for membership. We represented facts and values, and welcomed anyone who agreed with our point of view to join us. We reject the political insults thrown at members of our group. It is ridiculous to say that citizens who once served in political office can no longer have a voice in this community. Criticizing people based upon their political affiliation is an attempt by people like Mr. Kramer to distract from the facts surrounding this referendum and to silence any opposing voice.
The district Finance Director DeeDee Kahring stated at a Victoria City Council meeting (Oct. 14) that the district is in debt for at least two years due to overspending. This fact cannot be blamed on Concerned Parents for D112. We are the merely the messenger and have done nothing to contribute to this questionable fiscal management.
Many have asked why we connected the equity agenda to the referendum. ECC schools continue to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on equity programs which have nothing to do with academics. It's time to stop this slush fund and hold the district responsible for their spending.
We encourage parents to do their own homework, to scrutinize their children's books and assignments — including online surveys, to attend school board meetings, and to read the numerous papers written by "experts" hired by the school district who have input into your child's learning.
Knowledge is power. Hold this school board accountable for poor decisions and sub-par education. As taxpayers and parents, you deserve better.