Staff Directory 6370447

Erin Golden

Cities team leader | Cities
Phone: 612-673-4264

Erin Golden is a cities team leader at the Star Tribune, working with reporters who cover Minneapolis, Hennepin County and metro suburbs. She was previously a reporter at the Star Tribune and other newspapers covering topics ranging from state politics to education to business. 

Before joining the Star Tribune, Golden covered business, city government, public safety and other topics at newspapers in Nebraska and Oregon.
Recent content from Erin Golden

State's school bus drivers say shortage exposes deeper issues

On top of longstanding challenges like pay and irregular hours, they said many drivers have opted out of the field because of COVID-19-related health concerns, more frequent schedule shifts, and other pandemic-related complications.
New Hoover Elementary School principal Keisha Davis greeted students and parents outside the school before the start of the school day on the first da

Many Minnesota schools begin anew, shadowed by COVID

The state's largest district, Anoka-Hennepin, was among the school systems resuming classes. Many, particularly in metro-area schools, are wearing masks because of school district-imposed mask mandates.

Across Minnesota, many schools start a new year

The state's largest district, Anoka-Hennepin, was among the school systems resuming classes. Many, particularly in metro-area schools, are wearing masks because of school district-imposed mask mandates.

Minnesota students brace for uncertainty, hope for normalcy

Across Minnesota, students are leaping — or trudging — into a third school year shaded by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lawsuit seeks statewide mask mandate for Minnesota schools

A parents group says Walz should require masks to protect students' rights.

Minnesota student math, reading scores drop in pandemic year

More than 20% of eligible students did not take statewide tests.

Anoka-Hennepin mandates masks for youngest students when COVID-19 spread is high

The mask requirement will be reviewed weekly.
In Minnetonka, Minnesota on August 19, 2021, Dr. Elizabeth Reed spoke in favor of using masks in schools. The Minnetonka School Board held a work sess

Minn. schools wrestle with mask decisions just weeks before classes start

In patchwork of last-minute decisions, more districts issue mandates.
Dylan Feddersen, cq, from the IT staff at Big Lake High School, worked on prepping hundreds of laptops for students at Big Lake High School, Monday, A

As Minnesota schools' online options grow, so do complications

Close to 100 public schools are set to open new virtual academies this fall. On that list are programs built over years of careful study and others assembled in a matter of months. A few are still making those decisions, even with the new school year just weeks away.

State recommends masks in schools, but districts can decide

Minnesota officials cited rising COVID-19 case rates and the risk of spread among unvaccinated people in schools.
This file photo shows a school bus outside the Minnesota State Capitol in February 2020. More than 50 school board members in Minnesota have left thei

More Minnesota school board members resign in turbulent year

Record number have resigned in Minnesota this year amid controversies.

More Minnesota schools can continue online option, will make local choices on pandemic precautions

The state will issue guidance, but no new COVID-19 rules for schools.

Family sues over Minnesota corrections officer's death

The relatives of Joseph Gomm say negligence contributed to Gomm's murder.
Katie Nelson's first grade classroom. She was teaching students about the role of an architect. Summer school program at Vista View Elementary, Burnsv

State budget help too late to head off some school cuts

Legislature raised per-pupil spending, but districts were hurt by enrollment drops.
First grade teacher Hannah King taught students about the forces of motion, alternating students through fast and slow motion movements.

Minnesota summer school programs see surge in enrollment

With in-person learning and relaxed pandemic rules, the classes could be a preview of fall.

Minnesota summer school programs see surge in enrollment

With in-person learning and relaxed pandemic rules, the classes could be a preview of fall.

William Bailey, trailblazing businessman and banker, dies at 83

"He shared with me: 'You can tear down walls or barriers one brick at a time — and you're that brick,' " said nephew Marcus Glenn.

Edina's hornet mascot benched amid logo dispute

A long-running copyright dispute went public this month, when Edina announced it would pause the use of the logo after receiving a cease-and-desist letter from the man who designed it.

After scoring errors, two teams named champions of Minnesota state robotics championship

Faribault High School and Eagle Ridge Academy will share this year's state title.

Masks will be optional for many Minnesota students taking summer classes

Minnesota students and teachers returning to classrooms for summer school may see one clear shift in pandemic precautions: fewer people wearing masks.
In Owatonna, MN on May 12, 2021, the Hadt siblings Carter,11, Riley,14(green), and Abigail,7, take advantage of the weather to read outside.] Andrew a

Boom in online programs could reshape Minn. education

From Albert Lea to Bemidji to St. Paul, the number of public school districts and charters racing to build online academies is soaring.

Minnesota graduation rates hold steady in 2020, despite pandemic

About 84% of high school seniors graduated on time.

Scoring error prompts confusion over Minnesota state robotics championship results

Faribault was named the winner but a scoring shake-up could shift the results.
Students sit on the bus at the end of the school day at Eastview Elementary School in Lakeville on Wednesday, November 11, 2015. ] (LEILA NAVIDI/STAR

School integration plan awaits Minnesota lawmakers' action, may end up back in court

The case could return to court if no action is taken on a legal settlement.
Principal Anne Gattman took students’ temperatures as they arrived at St. Jerome School in Maplewood.

How the pandemic forever altered education in Minnesota

Academics collided with life challenges, but there were some triumphs — and many see more hope ahead.
Children arrive for classes at Forest View Elementary in the summer of 2020. RICHARD TSONG-TAATARII ¥

With an extra $75 million, Minnesota schools plan for summer classes

The new funds will help expand programs after the school year's disruptions.
Lakeville North players warmed up before the start of Friday night's game. ] AARON LAVINSKY ¥

Lakeville police: Threat that closed schools was not credible

Lakeville school activities will resume Saturday.

Minnesota schools brace for big budget cuts amid pandemic

Minnesota school districts are preparing to lay off teachers, drop programs and increase class sizes as they begin to feel the full impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their budgets.
Qorsho Hassan, Minnesota’s 2020 Teacher of the Year, teaches at Echo Park Elementary School in Burnsville.

Finalists named for Minnesota Teacher of the Year

The winner will be named at a ceremony later this year.
Students gathered outside U.S. Bank Stadium on Monday afternoon as part of a statewide student walkout to protest against racial injustice in Minneapo

Students walk out of class to protest racial injustice

The demonstrations came in response to the police shooting of Daunte Wright and concerns about racism in schools.

Minneapolis Public Schools to shift to distance learning for Chauvin verdict

The move comes just as some students are returning to school buildings.

Tom Shinnick, dedicated Brooklyn Center volunteer and community leader, dies at 85


With funding uncertain, schools make plans for expanded summer school

Districts want to make up for pandemic setbacks but worry about funding.
Lakeville police seek help in finding suspect in park assault

Lakeville police seek help in finding suspect in park assault

A woman in her 40s told police she was assaulted in East Lake Community Park by a man who said he needed help.

Minnesota's new education commissioner says safe, in-person learning remains top goal

New commissioner says system showed ability to adapt quickly.
Ramsey Middle School students made their way up a flight of stairs at the school Tuesday, March 17, 2015 in St. Paul, MN. ] (ELIZABETH FLORES/STAR TRI

St. Paul will consider renaming Ramsey Middle School

The community will be asked to participate.
A South Carolina school district is apologizing for a fourth-grade social studies assignment meant to teach students about slavery after complaints fr

Minnesota's K-12 social studies review looks to broaden class lessons

Revisions aim to include more voices and have attracted more attention than usual.
Fourth grade teacher Kelly Brant stands in her classroom as she talks to her students who were learning remotely Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021 at Park Brook

Enrollment, funding drops challenge Minn. school budgets

Local districts are set to lose millions of dollars in state aid for the 2021-22 school year — a time when many of those missing students are expected to finally return to classrooms.

Minnesota's public school enrollment drops 2% as parents explore pandemic options

Enrollment is down by 2% statewide, with bigger drops in kindergarten and the other early grades.
Adrianna Togba, center, and the rest of the eighth grade orchestra get ready to play a song during class at Jackson Middle School in Champlin.

Gov. Walz: 'It's time to get our students back in school'

Gov. Tim Walz announced that all Minnesota middle and high schools can opt to bring students back for hybrid or in-person learning as soon as Feb. 22, and all schools should offer it by March 8.

Walz: All Minnesota schools should offer at least some in-person learning by March 8

Gov. Tim Walz announced that all Minnesota middle and high schools can opt to bring students back for hybrid or in-person learning as soon as Feb. 22, and all schools should offer it by March 8.

Minn. schools fast-track plans for permanent online learning options

A rising number of Minnesota school districts are planning to make full-time online school a permanent option for thousands of students. Some school leaders are pushing hard to launch their own online schools as soon as this fall.

Teacher shortage hits schools in rural, urban districts across Minnesota

A new report finds that half of licensed teachers in Minnesota are out of the classroom.

Rochester schools chief resigns after plagiarism accusations

The school board voted unanimously Tuesday to accept Michael Muñoz's resignation, effective June 30.

Bloomington schools return to distance learning after COVID-19 outbreak

An outbreak of the virus among transportation staff forced the switch.
Michael Muñoz

Rochester superintendent faces new accusations of plagiarism

Michael Muñoz is under scrutiny over past communications.
Oxbow Creek Elementary school nurse Erika Bethke measured classrooms to calculate social distancing safety requirements.

Minnesota schools prepare for elementary students' return

It's like the first day of class again, but with real reasons for teachers, staff to have jitters.
Children arrived for classes at Forest View Elementary last year.

Summer school could be an option for more Minn. students this year

Some federal aid may go toward offsetting "learning loss"caused by pandemic hurdles.
From left, S’sence Adams, a fourth-grader at Friendship Academy of the Arts; Phoua Lee, a senior at Park Center High School, Brooklyn Park, and Gian

Minn. students try to navigate a chaotic pandemic school year

As students struggle with loss, they long for a return to routine. Nearing the halfway mark of the school year, school leaders are wrestling with how to get many of them back in the classroom.

Minnesota schools eager for federal COVID-19 relief aid

As with the last round of stimulus funds, schools are expected to have some flexibility in deciding how to spend the money.

In the pandemic, field trips go virtual for Minnesota students

In classrooms or at home, students have more options for virtual tours and visits.

Minnesota schools announce plans for elementary students' return

Several large school districts plans to reopen elementary schools.

Elementary schools in Minn. can open Jan. 18 with new safety protocols

The state will leave the decision to reopen to local school districts.
An empty classroom at an elementary school in Baltimore after closing during the coronavirus pandemic, April 14, 2020. Across the U.S., some large sch

Minnesota sticks with its school plans as pressure to reopen grows

Rising spread of COVID-19 and staffing shortages have sent more than half of Minnesota's public districts and charter schools into full-time distance learning. And there's little indication that students could be back to schools anytime soon.
Gavin Lawrence embraced his girlfriend, Chace Johnson, in between classes at South Ridge School. It is one of only a few school buildings in Minnesota

As virus rages, a few Minnesota schools still offer in-person instruction

Just 45 of the state's 500 school districts had full-time in-person classes last week.
Michael Muñoz

Rochester superintendent apologizes after plagiarizing Thanksgiving message to staff

Michael Muñoz lifted passages from several sources in letter to staff.
Lisa Larson read a book to her students on the first day of in-person class at Piedmont Elementary School on Sept. 21. Lisa Larson read a book to her

Last big school districts in Minnesota shift to distance learning

Because of pandemic-related staffing shortages, most doubt a return to classrooms until at least January.
Teacher Gretchen Polkinghorne bagged donated books at Community of Peace Academy in St. Paul. Jerry Holt •

A Minnesota teacher's online request for children's books yields a tale of generosity

Teenage sisters in Woodbury are sharing the gift of books with hundreds of students.
In this photo taken Jan. 17, 2016, a student looks at questions during a college test preparation class at Holton Arms School.

Minnesota schools uncertain about standardized tests amid the pandemic

In-person assessments may resume this spring if the pandemic allows.
Michelle Dennard

Osseo special education staff member wins statewide award

Michelle Dennard is now a nominee for the national Education Support Professional award.
Duluth schools are among those switching to distance learning. In this photo from September, Sophie Gray Spehar disinfected each table in her art clas

Virus pushes more Minnesota schools to distance learning

A few districts have provided tentative dates for when they hope to bring students back. But many school leaders are telling parents they don't know when distance learning might end.
Wayne Kazmierczak

White Bear Lake schools superintendent gets top honor

Wayne Kazmierczak was recognized for his work on equity and leadership.
Sarah Bestul teaches at Wilshire Park Elementary in St. Anthony. Her district has asked parents to become substitute teachers.

COVID-19 has Minnesota schools scrambling for substitute teachers

Minn. school districts that failed to pass funding measures plan for cuts

Kitchen assistants Bettie Ronning, left, and Amy Coughlin handed out school lunches to students and residents at Richfield High School on Oct. 28.

Minnesota schools step up efforts to feed their 'kiddos' amid pandemic

To provide meals to students at school and at home, schools have had to adapt.

Minnesota students cast votes in mock election

The program from the YMCA of the North aimed to demystify the voting process.
The Department of Corrections said it is investigating why the virus has spread more quickly at Stillwater than at other facilities after an inmate di

COVID-19-positive inmate dies at Stillwater prison

Second-grade kids stood with their belongings before joining other in-school day-care kids for supervision by YMCA staffers at Rosemount Elementary Sc

Osseo, Rosemount schools plan shift to distance learning

Co-curricular athletics and activities will continue through the end of the fall season in the Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan district.
More Minnesota schools move to distance learning, prompting questions about sports

More Minnesota schools move to distance learning, prompting questions about sports

Activities, sports raise safety concerns
Voters waited at the elections and voters services building at 980 E. Hennepin Av. in Minneapolis on Oct. 16.

Minnesota schools seek voter-approved funding on crowded ballots

Early voting along with the focus on the presidential election make the outcomes hard to gauge.
In August, Anoka-Hennepin teachers rallied ahead of a school board meeting at Sandburg Education Center in Anoka.

Anoka-Hennepin shifts middle, high schools to distance learning

Elementary students in the state's largest school district will remain in a hybrid format after the Nov. 4 change, made amid the rising spread of COVID-19 in the area.
Dan Knuth

Dan Knuth, Minnesota lawmaker who shaped environmental policies, dies at 75

Harvest Best Academy kindergarten teacher Sarah Swanson places students at a safe social distance during reading time in her learning pod, Tuesday, Se

Pandemic pushes down Minnesota kindergarten enrollment

Enrollment is down amid the pandemic, leaving districts to wonder if students will return.
Carlton High School students stood in line for lunch in the cafeteria on Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020.

COVID surge means fewer Minnesota schools meet in-person rules

More than 500 schools reported at least one positive case in the last two weeks, and 24 school buildings had outbreaks with at least five positive cases.