Residents and supporters of the Southeast Como neighborhood were shocked and dismayed recently to hear that Tuttle School, the only public school in SE Como, will likely be closed by the Minneapolis School Board. This after the recent closing of the neighborhood's only nearby public library sends the message that the city is disinvesting in SE Como, which is exactly the wrong message to send. It also runs contrary to the findings of the recent Univeristy Neighborhood Impact report. Strong public assets like libraries, parks and schools are essential to maintaining and improving community overall health, investments in homeownership and the success of areas businesses.
Neighbors have also pointed out that the SE Como neighborhood group SECIA made significant NRP contributions to upgrade the Tuttle science lab, investments that may be lost if and when the school closes.
I share neighbors' concerns about losing this community asset. I will be attending the meeting on the possible closure and I invite all interested people to do the same. The meeting will be held in the Tuttle School theater, 1042 18th Ave SE, on Wednesday March 28th at 7pm.
The short notice makes it even more difficult. For example, if Tuttle neighbors and parents wanted to organize a charter school (as Pratt School parents and neighbors were planning to do when Pratt was threatened a few years ago), the deadline to apply for funding is already passed. If the School Board gave Tuttle a year to organize, parents and neighbors would be much better able to prepare a plan for how to retain the building as a community resource and adjust to any future changes.
The decision will ultimately be made in Early April by the School Board.
While it is a Board decision and it will primarily impact the families enrolled in Tuttle and Pratt and the surrounding neighborhoods, I believe that we all need to pull together as a larger community and as a city to help plan for the future and to find ways to support the needs of our schools, our families and the neighborhoods who will be most affected by these changes. To help get this discussion started, I will hold my April Roundtable Discussion in SE Como:
The Future of Our Schools
The School Board is proposing significant changes to our neighborhood schools, including merging Pratt and Tuttle, and closing Tuttle. What can we do as communities and a City to better support our schools, and how should we prepare for these proposed changes?
April 16, 7-9 pm
Van Cleve Park
901 15th Ave SE