Monday, October 18, 2010

PRESS RELEASE: Save North High Coalition

For Immediate Release         
Kale Severson, NHS Alumni Assoc., Cell: 612-715-2527
Marcus Owens, Friends of North High, Cell: 612-423-0399
Robert Panning-Miller, PEJAM, Cell: 612-616-1863
Community Demands District Make Commitment to Keep North High Open

(Minneapolis, MN,  October, 17, 2010) – The Save North High Coalition is holding a press conference at North High School (near the corner of 16th and James Ave. N.) at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, October 18th.  The Coalition will host this press conference to present the community demands being made to the Minneapolis School Board to withdraw the proposal to close North High, and instead commit to reinvest in North High and by extension, the North Minneapolis community.

Minneapolis District officials have pointed toward declining enrollment at North High and district-wide as their reason for closing the school. Less than 270 students are now enrolled in North, but declining enrollment is a direct result of District neglect, under-funding and a privatizing of public schools.  District policies have pushed down North’s numbers and now the District is proposing to phase out public education in the center of Minneapolis’s largest African American community.

The School Board gave the community a challenge, and the Community has responded. Saturday, October 16th, people in the community came together and committed to work to improve North.  We began a discussion of what a successful North High would look like, and what we could contribute to make it happen.  The North High community and supporters throughout Minneapolis have committed to work with students, teachers and parents to rebuild North High.  We are demanding that the Minneapolis School Board make the same commitment.

The Save North High Coalition makes the following demands of the Board:
1)      Withdraw the proposal to close North High; instead re-invest and re-build North High
2)      Re-establish a “home-zone” for North High to boost enrollment
3)      In partnership with parents, teachers, and students, develop an aggressive, fully-funded plan to boost enrollment at North
4)      Immediately open a dialogue with teachers, students, parents, and the community to create a community-based public school.

The Save North High Coalition represents the multiple voices of the North High community.  It includes the Committe for North, the North High Alumni Association, The Friends of North High, and the Public Education Justice Alliance of Minnesota (PEJAM), in addition to other parents, students, and members of the North High Community. 

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