Big changes come to schools due to lack of funds, test score gaps

Last spring, ThreeSixty’s spring News Team class tackled a huge project — investigating the changes starting this year in the Saint Paul Public School district due to loses of funding and persistent test score gaps between races.

They’ve broke down this complicated new plan into easy-to-understand pieces, and even if you don’t go to school in Saint Paul, the causes of the changes are happening statewide. Similar changes could be coming to your schools, or already has, soon.

In Saint Paul, a plan passed in March will potentially limit school choice, change how certain classes like algebra are taught, and much more. Critics are worried this plan could lessen school diversity.

Knowledge is power. Check these out!

Alexcia Jellum of St. Paul Central Senior High School

Can limiting choices make better schools?

If you are an eighth grader at Murray Junior High in St. Paul and you are planning on going to Central Senior High, things may not go according to your plan. Change is coming to the St. Paul public school system over the next three years.

Maya Shelton-Davies, River Falls High School

Students worry about new plan

In past years, St. Paul students could apply to any high school in the district and get bus transportation to that school, if there was enough room.

Rebecca Peltzer-Miller, Central High School

Staying on the same page

Superintendent Valeria Silva thinks when parents walk into any St. Paul Public School, it should be like walking into a Target store.

“Wherever you go in any part (of Target), you’re going to know that there are standards. You see your ads on the wall … the manager’s picture … so you have a set of expectations,” Silva said.

Critics worry change to neighborhood schools could lessen diversity

In St. Paul Central High School’s cafeteria, it’s easy to see how diverse the school is. Just listening in on students’ conversations, you can hear just about every language being spoken from Somali to Spanish to Hmong.

Sabrina Kennelly

Diverse peers at school educate in ways arithmetic can't

I love Central High School’s diversity, and that’s why I’m concerned about the Saint Paul Public School district’s new plan, “Strong Schools, Strong Communities.” Because of new busing restrictions, I’m worried this plan might allow schools to become racially segregated again.