What’s making news in Minneapolis, reported by the Star Tribune’s team of city reporters. Send news tips to baird.helgeson@startribune.com.

School board down to seven votes on Northrop

Posted by: Steve Brandt under People and neighborhoods, Politics and government Updated: February 20, 2013 - 9:52 AM

The movement that promotes what it calls school reform in the Twin Cities is close-knit enough that it’s already knocked two of the nine Minneapolis school board directors out of voting on who gets the old Northrop school building.

This column reported earlier on board Chair Alberto Monserrate’s decision that for appearances sake he wouldn’t vote.  That’s because he served on, and chaired, the board of Hiawatha Leadership Academies before he was elected to the school district board in 2010. Hiawatha is offering one of two competing proposals for the school.
 
Now Josh Reimnitz has recused himself. He said that’s because his girlfriend, Daniela Vasan, is planning the opening of the charter school that Hiawatha Leadership Academies would like to establish in Northrop. Hiawatha has offered $1 million for the school block; the school would be its third.

The other proposal  to buy the site comes from United Properties. It is working with Arch Academy, which would open a charter school in the old building while United develops senior housing on the rest of the block. It’s offering $1.2 million.

Arch is a startup school, and the coordinator of that startup is Angela Mansfield. She’s on leave as a district teacher, and is a fellow with Charter School Partners, which is working to replicate high-quality charters.

Coincidentally, that fellowship program is run by Katie Barrett Kramer. She’s the sister-in-law of Eli Kramer, who is the executive director of Hiawatha, which made the competing proposal.  But Vasan is also a fellow in that program, and could wind up as the principal of Hiawatha’s third school, Eli Kramer said.  Small world.
 

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