Minneapolis would be granted the right to remove a school board member by majority vote of that member’s peers under a bill introduced in the Minnesota Senate.
The Mill City board has been barred from doing that since at least 1959 under an exemption to general state law allowing removal of board members.
The proposal by state Sen. Scott Dibble, DFL-Minneapolis, would bring Minneapolis into conformance with other Minnesota districts. There have been only two documented instances in Minnesota of a board removing a member. One occurred in Austin in 2009 after a board member sued the district and superintendent, and the other was last month in St. Francis when a board member was removed after an incident of plagiarism.
Dibble said he’s not been able to find anyone who recalls why Minneapolis was exempted from the power to remove board members. However, the exemption dates back to a period when there was two-party competition for many local offices, unlike today’s DFL hegemony.
“It’s just a good government measure, something that should be allowed for cause,” Dibble said. The Minneapolis board so far hasn;t taken a position on the matter.
Past efforts to grant the Minneapolis board such power have not advanced when Republicans controlled the Legislature.