Four school board candidates opposed to Eden Prairie boundary changes win

  • Article by: KELLY SMITH , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 8, 2011 - 9:41 PM

Four Eden Prairie school board candidates who opposed controversial school boundary changes won seats in today's elections, according to unofficial results, raising questions about whether the plan will remain in place.

The candidates ran together in a campaign called BEEP, an acronym made up of their last names: Karla Bratrud, David Espe, John Estall and Holly Parker.

The four were endorsed by parents unhappy with this year's new boundary changes that largely aimed to integrate schools but drew widespread opposition for the loss of neighborhood schools.

"Whether this was a BEEP alignment or not, the community chose individuals they want," said Estall, an incumbent who voted against the controversial plan last December and wouldn't say specifically if the plan could be dismantled. "We're going to look at it and see where things are at ... and maybe a review of the whole thing or not."

The election caps a controversial year for the district. The driving force behind the redistricting, Superintendent Melissa Krull, left her post early because of the controversy.

Her widely watched plan redrew boundary lines, busing hundreds of students to new schools largely so low-income students weren't concentrated at one school, which had more than 40 percent low-income pupils. An intermediate school housing fifth- and sixth-graders also will close, moving those students into elementary schools. It sparked a storm of parent opposition to the loss of neighborhood schools and the intermediate school, fueling concerns over the district's lack of communication and acceptance of input.

Kelly Smith • 612-673-4141

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