Hopkins Prepares to Vote on Unite Edina Detachment Request

The Hopkins School Board will decide whether to support the request Thursday.

Edina residents who live in Hopkins school district boundaries only have to wait a few more days to find out whether the School Board will support their request to leave for the Edina school district.

The Hopkins School Board will vote Thursday on a request from Parkwood Knolls and Walnut Drive property owners who want to leave the Hopkins school district because they think its schools are not in locations that serve the families’ educational needs.

School district administrators will first report on their findings and present analysis from a Nov. 29 study that concluded that detachment .

After the presentation, School Board directors will vote on the detachment request.

Click the PDFs above to review several of the documents that the board will consider.


A long process

The detachment discussions started as early as October 2010—when Alan Koehler, who’s spearheading the efforts of advocacy group Unite Edina 273, and other residents presented a detachment request to the district superintendent.

The School Board discussed that request at a subsequent work session. However, the process didn’t really start in earnest until the spring of 2012, when Edina Rep. Keith Downey introduced a bill that would let the property owners change districts without Hopkins School Board approval.

That bill died, but Unite Edina 273 supporters made a presentation to the School Board on Sept. 20 then delivered about 425 petitions to the superintendent’s office Sept. 28.

That launched the—initially uncertain—process leading to Thursday’s vote. Along the way, the group made presentations to the district’s Citizens Financial Advisory Committee (CFAC)  and the board’s Policy Monitoring Committee.

Unite Edina has faced a skeptical audience throughout the process. CFAC member Kip Heegaard asked if Unite Edina had approached families in apartment complexes near the area that wants to detach. Dave Koppe asked why they weren’t trying to bring all of Edina into Edina schools.

“I’ve got many phone calls from many people in many neighborhoods (saying) ‘What does Unite Edina mean? Does that mean all of Edina?’” said School Board Treasurer Wendy Donovan: “So when we say ‘Unite Edina,’ it’s really not uniting Edina. It’s uniting your part of Edina.”

Meanwhile, the Nov. 29 study emphasized the financial impact on the district—and on both the property owners who would be left behind and the property owners who would be leaving.

The Unite Edina property owners counter that Hopkins is better off than the district they want to join and that their departure would have minimal impact on Hopkins’ finances. They say their request is about neighborhood schools and sense of community—not money.

“When people come into Edina, they want to be part of the Edina community,” homeowner Pam Allen told CFAC on Oct. 24.

A. Funk December 18, 2012 at 07:56 PM
Dear J. Bergman, No one is holding anyone "hostage." If you want to live in the Edina School District, it's okay for you to purchase a house there.
J. Bergman December 18, 2012 at 08:22 PM
A. Funk said that, "No one is holding anyone 'hostage.'" Meanwhile, here is the situation: Over 98% of Parkwood Knolls residents signed a petition stating that they want to leave the Hopkins school district. Yet the Hopkins school board has been saying it will not allow the Parkwood Knolls neighborhood to leave the district, unless it can come up with a way to make up for $500,000 in property tax revenue. That sounds a little like a hostage situation to me. By the way, doesn't it seem odd that the Hopkins school board collects $500,000 in property taxes from Parkwood Knolls residents while only educating 9 children from the Parkwood Knolls neighborhood?
Fred December 19, 2012 at 12:52 AM
Maury, Maury, Maury, Don't you love a guy with double standards... From comments section on a June 25, 2012 article in the Hopkins Patch covering the Twin Cities Gay Pride Festival - Maury Ballsteen 4:19 pm on Tuesday, June 26, 2012 Quote "Voicing an opinion without looking at the pictures or reading the article seems strange. If you can't say anything nice, why say anything at all? Also, don't get defensive when people question your knowledge on a topic when you admit you skipped over any attempt to understand the subject." End quote. Maury, please send everyone a list of those causes that you support and those that you do not so we know when it is fair game to make negative childish comments and when it is not. All the best, Petchulant Child
Maury Ballsteen December 19, 2012 at 04:41 PM
Fred, I apologize. I assumed that the distinction between hate speech and satire would be clear. I guess I was wrong. My sarcasm was merely an attempt to capture the ridiculousness of the group “Unite Edina 273” and their platform. And J. Let’s calm down with the term ‘hostage situation.’ You clearly don’t grasp what that means. I think the term you are looking for would be similar to gerrymandering, which is what people do when they want to shift invisible boundaries around to best suit their needs and wants.
James Warden December 19, 2012 at 04:49 PM
Y'all may be interested in this story just published: http://hopkins.patch.com/articles/what-role-does-wealth-play-in-edina-request-to-leave-hopkins-schools Take a look at the demographics and share your thoughts: Are they even relevant to the discussion?


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