The 2018 SPPS Referendum

The 2018 SPPS Referendum and Southeast Asian Students

How will you vote on November 6th? The Saint Paul Public Schools (SPPS) is asking St. Paul residents for an $18.6 million tax increase which will be on the ballot on November 6th. Will you vote Yes or No?This referendum comes at a time when community leaders supported by the Coalition for Asian American Leaders (CAAL) are organizing to ensure that SPPS will make concrete commitments to serve Asian students. Community leaders and students have shared recommendations on how the district can address the long term disparities experienced by Asian students, particularly Southeast Asian students. #StandwithSEAstudents, #SPPSWeCantWait

Posted by Coalition of Asian American Leaders – CAAL on Wednesday, October 10, 2018

The Saint Paul Public Schools’ (SPPS) Board has authorized a referendum for the November 6, 2018 ballot asking Saint Paul voters to approve increased funding to schools in the form of an Operating Levy. While Asian Americans believe that adequate support to schools is important to produce better educational outcomes for all students, many have also voiced their concern about a history of exclusion and inequity in SPPS.

In light of both the strategic planning process and the referendum, we hope that SPPS take these opportunities to address long standing inequities that affect Asian families in Saint Pau​l. Thus, it is critical that the district provide concrete actions to address the primary concerns of Saint Paul’s diverse Asian Minnesotan student body, particularly for Hmong, Karen and other Southeast Asian students​.

Priority Issues
As efforts to engage voters about the referendum continues, our parents, students and leaders remain hesitant to support the referendum unless SPPS’s Board and the Superintendent make explicit policy and budgetary commitments and provides concrete steps​ to address the following priorities:

1) Hire and Retain Culturally Responsive Staff

2) Invest in Heritage Language Development

3) Embed Ethnic Studies into Core Curriculum​<

4) Incorporate Culturally Responsive Social and Emotional Learning

5) College and Career Readiness​

Read the full statement and priorities.