To the Editor:
We “open-enrolled” our son, Grant, in Minnetonka Public Schools 12 years ago at Groveland Elementary – our Minnetonka home is just outside the school district. We were looking for a great public school, close to our home and with a meaningful Spanish program.
Grant is now a junior at Minnetonka High School and our son, Evan, is at Minnetonka Middle School East. Our experience has been amazing – very welcoming, supportive and focused on student results.
We recently received information from the Minnetonka district about their open enrollment – as a small number of district residents are questioning it.
Which public school that a family chooses is a personal decision for what is best for each child. And in Minnesota, most of the educational dollars goes with the child because families can send their children to any willing public school. That is the way it should be. A good public education should not be limited to a few.
Important for our economy, finding the right educational fit for each child yields better results. This competitive approach – started by Governor Rudy Perpich – has made Minnesota a leader. Specifically for Minnetonka Schools, open enrollment benefits are:
• Since 2007, open enrollment brought in $203 million in extra revenue.
• This extra revenue is more than twice the cost for non-resident students for 2019-2020. In other words, non-resident students “earn their keep.”
• Funding for smaller class sizes to prevent overcrowding.
• More quality school programs for everyone.
• During the recent tough recession, Minnetonka Schools experienced no teacher layoffs – unlike other districts.
• Increased property values due to rebounding school district – which is now fully funded and achieving some of the highest test scores in the state and competitive to top performing nations.
• Committed non-resident families with students on par academically with residents.
Before Minnetonka began its enrollment strategy, the district was struggling with significantly lower test scores, bleak enrollment projections and shrinking funding.
With open enrollment, residents and non-residents have all benefited from vibrant, growing, financially stable and high performing schools – a win-win.