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Minnesota school districts

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K-12 Education in Minnesota
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Education facts
State Superintendent: Brenda Cassellius
Number of students: 839,738[1]
Number of teachers: 52,832
Teacher/pupil ratio: 1:15.9
Number of school districts: 555
Number of schools: 2,392
Graduation rate: 78%[2]
Per-pupil spending: $10,712[3]
See also
Minnesota Department of EducationList of school districts in MinnesotaMinnesotaSchool boards portal
Education policy logo.jpg
Education policy project
Public education in the United States
Public education in Minnesota
Glossary of education terms

Minnesota is home to 555 school districts, 2,392 schools and 839,738 K-12 students.[4]

Quick facts

State school administrators

  • Commissioner of Education: Brenda Cassellius[5]
  • Deputy Commissioner: Jessie Montano
  • Assistant Commissioner: Elia Dimayuga-Bruggeman
  • Assistant Commissioner: Rose Hermodson
  • Assistant Commissioner: Steve Dibb
  • Assistant Commissioner: Kevin McHenry
  • Chief of Staff: Charlene Briner
  • Communications Director: Josh Collins
  • Government Relations Director: Daron Korte


See also: Demographic information for all students in all 50 states

The following table displays the ethnic distribution of students in Minnesota as reported in the National Center for Education Statistics Common Core of Data for 2011-2012.[6]

Demographic information for Minnesota's K-12 public school system
Ethnicity Students State Percentage United States Percentage**
American Indian 15,076 1.80% 1.10%
Asian 52,186 6.21% 4.68%
African American 77,274 9.20% 15.68%
Hawaiian Nat./Pacific Isl. students 650 0.08% 0.42%
Hispanic 62,083 7.39% 24.37%
White 613,019 73.00% 51.21%
Two or more 19,450 2.32% 2.54%
**Note: This is the percentage of all students in the United States that are reported to be of this ethnicity.

In the news

Book banning debate in Anoka-Hennepin

In 2013, Anoka-Hennepin School District officials selected Eleanor & Park for their "Rock the Book" summer reading program for district high school students. In August 2013, the Parents Action League filed a complaint with the school district regarding the content of the book, which includes profanity and sexually explicit situations, and asked for the district to remove the book from its libraries.[7] School board Chair Tom Heidemann acknowledged that the district was mistaken to include the book in the summer reading program without consulting parents first, but did not state whether the district would ban the book.[8]

The American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota issued a statement asking the school district to keep Eleanor & Park available to students, with its Executive Director Charles Samuelson arguing, "We are greatly concerned by removing books like this from the school libraries because they deal frankly and honestly with problems that teens face."[9] A book review committee chaired by Anoka High Principal Mike Farley announced on November 22, 2013, that the book would not be removed from district libraries.[10]

State law

Common Core

Common Core, or the Common Core State Standards Initiative, is an American education initiative that outlines quantifiable benchmarks in English and mathematics at each grade level from kindergarten through high school. As of 2014, Minnesota had only adopted the English standards.[11]

School board composition

Minnesota school board members are elected by residents of the school district. Minnesota school board elections typically follow one of these two methods, or a mixture thereof:

  • At-large: All voters residing in the school district may vote for any candidates running, regardless of geographic location.
  • District: Only voters residing in a specific geographic area within the school district may vote on certain candidates, who must also reside in that specific geographic area.

School boards consist of six, seven or nine members. School board members serve four-year terms.[12]

District types

Minnesota contains several types of school districts. Almost all are traditional independent districts limited to a single community, although the state also contains several specialized districts, such as intermediate, integration, education, telecommunication and cooperative districts.[13]

Term limits

Minnesota does not impose statewide term limits on school board members.[14]

School board elections

Upcoming elections

See also: Minnesota school board elections, 2015

A total of eight Minnesota school districts among America's largest school districts by enrollment will hold elections for 28 seats on November 3, 2015.

Here are several quick facts about Minnesota's school board elections in 2015:

  • The largest school district by enrollment with an election in 2015 is Anoka-Hennepin School District with 38,748 K-12 students.
  • The smallest school district by enrollment with an election in 2015 is Eden Prairie Schools with 9,536 K-12 students.
  • Five districts are tied for the most seats on the ballot in 2015 with four seats up for election in each district.
  • South Washington County Schools has the fewest seats on the ballot in 2015 with two seats up for election.

The districts listed below served 163,518 K-12 students during the 2010-2011 school year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Click on the district names for more information on the district and its school board elections.

2015 Minnesota School Board Elections
District Date Seats up for election Total board seats Student enrollment
Anoka-Hennepin School District 11/3/2015 3 6 38,748
Bloomington Public School 11/3/2015 3 7 10,690
Eden Prairie Schools 11/3/2015 4 7 9,536
Mounds View Public Schools 11/3/2015 4 7 10,207
Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan Public Schools 11/3/2015 4 7 27,515
Saint Paul Public Schools 11/3/2015 4 7 38,310
South Washington County Schools 11/3/2015 2 7 17,858
Wayzata Public Schools 11/3/2015 4 7 10,654

Path to the ballot

To qualify for the ballot as a school board candidate in Minnesota, a person must be:[15]

  • 21 years of age or older
  • An eligible voter in the state
  • A district resident for at least 30 days prior to the election

A person must not be:

  • A convicted felon or sex offender whose civil rights have not been restored
  • An employee of the school district who earns more than $8,000 per fiscal year
  • Serving in another public office, except for township board

The process of running for office as a school board candidate begins with filing an affidavit of candidacy with the school district clerk, along with a $2.00 filing fee. Candidates must file in July if their district is holding a primary election, otherwise the filing deadline is in August. According to the Minnesota School Boards Association:

A primary must be held if a school district has approved a resolution to be part of the primary election system AND if more than two candidates file for a precinct seat, or if more than double the number of candidates file than at-large seats exist.[16]

—Minnesota School Boards Association website brochure, (2014), [12]

School board elections are held in November in odd or even years, depending on the district.[12]

Campaign finance

Minnesota requires school board candidates who receive or spend more than $750 to file a campaign finance report. All candidates, regardless of how much money they raise or spent, must file a final campaign finance report within seven days after the election.[12]

See also

External links

Suggest a link


  1. National Center for Education Statistics, "Table 2. Number of operating public schools and districts, state enrollment, teacher and pupil/teacher ratio by state: School year 2011–12," accessed March 18, 2014
  2. ED Data Express, "State Tables Report," accessed March 17, 2014 The site includes this disclaimer: "States converted to an adjusted cohort graduation rate [starting in the 2010-2011 school year], which may or may not be the same as the calculation they used in prior years. Due to the potential differences, caution should be used when comparing graduation rates across states."
  3. United States Census Bureau, "Public Education Finances: 2011," accessed March 18, 2014
  4. Minnesota Department of Education, "Schools, Districts and Teachers at a Glance," accessed August 5, 2013
  5. Minnesota Department of Education, "Office of the Commissioner," accessed June 13, 2014
  6. United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Common Core of Data (CCD), State Nonfiscal Public Elementary/Secondary Education Survey, 2011-2012," accessed May 7, 2014
  7. CityPages, "Parents Action League wants 'Eleanor & Park' removed from Anoka-Hennepin libraries," October 2, 2013
  8. Minnesota Public Radio, "Using 'R rated' book without asking parents was wrong, school chair says," September 25, 2013
  9. American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota, "ACLU urges Anoka-Hennepin School District to keep Eleanor & Park on the shelves," September 26, 2013
  10. Star Tribune, "Challenged book to stay on Anoka High library shelves," November 22, 2013
  11. Common Core State Standards Initiative, "Core Standards in your State," accessed June 12, 2014
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 Minnesota School Boards Association, "Running for School Board," accessed July 9, 2014
  13. Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State, "School Districts in Minnesota," accessed July 9, 2014
  14. National School Boards Association, "Survey of the State School Boards Associations on Term Limits for Local Board Members," accessed July 8, 2014
  15. Minnesota School Boards Association, "Legal Requirements for School Board Members," accessed July 9, 2014
  16. Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.