To the Editor:

On Friday, June 18, the Eden Prairie School Board ignored the votes in the general election last year. They ignored the voices of the people who attended the prior board meeting to speak on behalf of appointing the extremely qualified Francesca Pagan-Umar, who was the runner-up for the School Board in the general election in November 2020. They ignored the petition with approximately 600 signatures by Eden Prairie residents asking the School Board to appoint Ms. Pagan-Umar. Instead, they voted 4-2 to appoint Karla Bratrud, a previous board member. Board Chair Adam Seidel stated in a board work session held earlier in the week that he had contacted Ms. Bratrud to ask if she wanted the position. If he decided to contact Ms. Bratrud of his own accord without discussing it with the board, he does not have the authority to do so. This is behavior that requires closer inspection by the community.

The School Board voted on this important issue after inadequate discussion of appointing other previous board members and without giving the community an opportunity to respond. The result of the vote was clearly a foregone conclusion and the discussion was a theatrical farce. In addition, the special meeting was held at 7:30 a.m. Parents and community members were not proactively informed that the meeting would be happening. Only those who expected them to sneak something through and were watching them closely saw the information about the meeting quietly posted in the depths of the Eden Prairie School Board’s website.

If Eden Prairie residents are not yet concerned about the questionable tactics of the current School Board, they have not been paying attention.

Our students and our community deserve better.

Gretchen Haynes

Eden Prairie

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