Area school board meets with legislators

Senator Dan Sparks meeting with Austin Public Schools

AUSTIN, Minnesota – From administrators, to board members, and just folks that care, the Austin Public School board meeting joined all kinds of folks together with Senator Dan Sparks and Representative Jeanne Poppe.

Bullying, healthcare, and testing were just some of the issues discussed, and it was all done with open minds on both sides.

Superintendent David Krenz looks forward to this forum every year.

“Everywhere I’ve been as a superintendent I’ve tried to create those relationships with the local legislators to make they understand the needs of the school district,” said Krenz.

So he’s invited Senator Dan Sparks and Representative Jeanne Poppe to sit in on their school board meeting to listen and share.

“I think people felt very positive about what has happened and really now it’s more about how can we fine-tune what’s already in place,” said Krenz.

Senator Sparks is happy that they are able to set aside talk about money this year and focus on the students.

“I think obviously we did a lot of good things regarding funding last year so this year we talked more about policy. I think bullying issue will be very important how that’s implemented again so we had a good discussion today,” said Sparks.

The budget for schools and education in the state was set last year so now they’re focusing other issues such as bullying and state testing.

Representative Poppe says it’s nice to hear from those who will be directly impacted by what happens at the capitol.

“It’s the people that are closest to administering what we do in St. Paul. They’re the ones that actually have to administer it so it’s helpful to get that dialogue,” said Poppe.

And it’s for that exact reason that Superintendent Krenz says these forums won’t be stopping any time soon.

“It works for them, it works for us, so we make it happen,” said Krenz.

Krenz says in the beginning of February, superintendents and principals from all over South Eastern Minnesota met with all of the local legislators to discuss issues.

He says keeping these lines if communication open is key to bettering the education system.

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