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.