Anoka-Hennepin School District elections (2013)

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2013 Anoka-Hennepin School District Elections

General Election date:
November 5, 2013
Table of Contents
About the district
Method of election
What was at stake?
Key deadlines
Additional elections
External links
See also
Anoka-Hennepin School District
Anoka County, Minnesota ballot measures
Local ballot measures, Minnesota
Flag of Minnesota.png

Three seats on the Anoka-Hennepin School District school board were up for general election on November 5, 2013. Incumbent Bill Harvey defeated Grace Baltich for the District 3 seat, while newcomer William Fields won the vacant District 4 seat by overcoming Janelle Kirkeide and Paul Meunier. Incumbent Jeff Simon ran unopposed and kept the District 6 seat.

About the district

See also: Anoka-Hennepin School District, Minnesota
Anoka-Hennepin School District is partially located in Anoka County, Minnesota
Anoka-Hennepin School District is partially located in Anoka County, Minnesota. Thirteen suburban communities are a part of the school district, including some from Hennepin County, Minnesota.[1] The county seat of Anoka County is Anoka. According to the United States Census, Anoka County is home to 336,414 residents.[2] Anoka-Hennepin is the largest school district in Minnesota, serving 39,106 students during the 2010-11 school year.[3]


Anoka-Hennepin School District's total budget for the 2013-14 school year was $493.8 million. This was the second-largest budget of any Minnesota school district, following after only Minneapolis Public Schools' budget of $524.9 million.[4] The district spent 79.5% of its budget on staff expenses, 11.8% on operational expenses and 4.6% on servicing its debt. The remaining 4.1% of the budget went to student services and miscellaneous expenditures.[5] According to the United States Census Bureau, Anoka-Hennepin spent $9,862 per-pupil during the 2010-11 school year. That was the twelfth-largest amount out of the 18 Minnesota school districts counted among the largest school districts in the United States by enrollment.[6]

Academic performance

According to the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment standardized test, Anoka-Hennepin's high school students outperformed statewide average scores in reading, mathematics and science. During the 2012-13 school year, 65% of the district's high school students compared to 62% of Minnesota high school students scored as proficient in reading. The percentages in mathematics and science were 55% compared to 52% and 62% compared to 53%, respectively.[7][8] Out of the 18 Minnesota school districts counted among the largest school districts in the United States by enrollment, Anoka-Hennepin ranked eighth in both reading and mathematics.[9]


Anoka County underperformed in comparison to the rest of Minnesota in terms of higher education achievement in 2011. The United States Census Bureau found that 25.8% of Anoka County residents aged 25 years and older had attained a bachelor's degree compared to 31.8% for Minnesota as a whole. The median household income in Anoka County was $69,139 compared to $58,476 for the state of Minnesota. The poverty rate in Anoka County was 6.6% compared to 11.0% for the entire state.[2]

Racial Demographics, 2012[2]
Race Anoka County (%) Minnesota (%)
White 87.7 85.3
Black or African American 4.8 5.2
American Indian and Alaska Native 0.8 1.1
Asian 4.1 4.0
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander 0.1 0.0
Two or More Races 2.5 2.4
Hispanic or Latino 3.8 4.7

Presidential Voting Pattern[10]
Year Democratic Vote Republican Vote
2012 88,614 93,430
2008 86,976 91,357
2004 80,226 91,853
2000 68,008 69,256

Note: The United States Census Bureau considers "Hispanic or Latino" to be a place of origin, not a race. Therefore, the Census allows citizens to report both their race and that they are from a "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin simultaneously. As a result, the percentages in each column of the racial demographics table will exceed 100 percent. Each column will add up to 100 percent after removing the "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin percentages, although rounding by the Census Bureau may make the total one or two tenths off from being exactly 100 percent.[11]

Method of board member selection

The Anoka-Hennepin school board consists of six members elected to four-year terms by geographic electoral districts. There was no primary election and the general election was held on November 5, 2013. The District 3, 4 and 6 seats were on the ballot in 2013, and the other three seats will be on the ballot in 2015.[12] District 3 includes the communities of Champlin, Dayton and portions of Coon Rapids; District 4 includes the communities of Ham Lake, Nowthen, Oak Grove and portions of Andover and Ramsey; and District 6 includes portions of the communities of Andover and Coon Rapids.[13]

Candidates began to file affidavits of candidacy on July 30, 2013. The filing deadline for school board candidates to get on the ballot in the general election was August 13, 2013 and the deadline to withdraw from the race was August 15, 2013. The deadline for residents to register to vote in the general election was October 15, 2013.[14]





  • Bill Harvey Green check mark transparent.png
    • Incumbent
    • Graduate, Minnesota State University, Mankato
    • Sales project director, Anton Group

  • William Fields Green check mark transparent.png
    • Graduate, United States Air Force Academy
    • Instructor, Air National Guard
  • Paul Meunier
    • Director of services, Minnesota Youth Intervention Programs Association

  • Jeff Simon Green check mark transparent.png
    • Incumbent
    • Graduate, University of Wisconsin, River Falls
    • Vice president of sales, Hollander Home Fashions

Election results

Anoka-Hennepin School District, District 3 General Election, 4-year term, 2013
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngBill Harvey Incumbent 60.8% 1,275
     Nonpartisan Grace Baltich 38.5% 808
     Nonpartisan Write-in votes 0.6% 13
Total Votes 2,096
Source: Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State, "Results for Selected Contests in School District No. 11 - Anoka-Hennepin," accessed December 17, 2013

Anoka-Hennepin School District, District 4 General Election, 4-year term, 2013
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngWilliam Fields 53.2% 820
     Nonpartisan Paul Meunier 36.3% 559
     Nonpartisan Janelle Kirkeide 10.3% 159
     Nonpartisan Write-in votes 0.3% 4
Total Votes 1,542
Source: Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State, "Results for Selected Contests in School District No. 11 - Anoka-Hennepin," accessed December 17, 2013

Anoka-Hennepin School District, District 6 General Election, 4-year term, 2013
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngJeff Simon Incumbent 92% 1,787
     Nonpartisan Write-in votes 8% 155
Total Votes 1,942
Source: Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State, "Results for Selected Contests in School District No. 11 - Anoka-Hennepin," accessed December 17, 2013


Grace Baltich received an endorsement for her campaign from the Anoka-Hennepin Education Minnesota teachers union, but it was withdrawn on October 21, 2013 due to allegations that Baltich plagiarized parts of her campaign website.[15][16] No other candidates received official endorsements in this election.

Campaign finance

Candidates received a total of $15,410.35 and spent a total of $14,792.58 during the election, according to the Anoka County Office of Elections & Voter Registration. Janelle Kirkeide was not required to submit a campaign finance report since she raised and spent less than $750 in 2013.[17] These numbers therefore do not include any contributions to or expenditures by Kirkeide.

In the District 3 race, candidates received a total of $9,042.83 and spent a total of $8,085.60. Bill Harvey did not receive any contributions in excess of $100 during the campaign, other than a $500 loan he made to his own campaign committee. Grace Baltich's campaign committee received $2,300 in contributions from several local and state labor unions.[18]

Candidate Contributions Expenditures Cash on hand
Bill Harvey $3,013.35 $2,695.78 $232.58
Grace Baltich $6,029.48 $5,389.82 $321.43

In the District 4 race, candidates received a total of $6,367.52 and spent a total of $5,711.88.[18]

Candidate Contributions Expenditures Cash on hand
William Fields $1,882.52 $1,882.52 $0.00
Janelle Kirkeide $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Paul Meunier $4,485.00 $3,829.36 $655.64

In the District 6 race, Jeff Simon received no contributions and spent a total of $995.10.[18]

Candidate Contributions Expenditures Cash on hand
Jeff Simon $0.00 $995.10 -$995.10

Past elections

What was at stake?

Three seats on the school board were up for election on November 5, 2013.[19] Two incumbents, Bill Harvey in District 3 and Jeff Simon in District 6, sought and won re-election, while District 4 incumbent Michael Sullivan did not file for re-election. Harvey faced one challenger in Grace Baltich, but Simon ran unopposed. The vacant District 4 seat drew three competing newcomers in William Fields, Janelle Kirkeide and Paul Meunier. Neither the Chair nor the Vice Chair of the school board were up for re-election in 2013.

Issues in the election

Campaign website plagiarism

On October 15, 2013 Grace Baltich removed posts from her campaign's Facebook page that were plagiarized from other sources without proper citation. Baltich released a statement following the incident claiming, "Yesterday, it was brought to my attention that my campaign’s Facebook page had several postings that were not properly attributed to the original authors of the content. I would first like to apologize on behalf of my campaign for these unfortunate errors."[20] She denied knowledge of the plagiarism prior to the content's removal, but accepted responsibility for the error.[20] Word of the plagiarism allegations spread to district parents via an e-mail chain, and local reporter Sarah Horner noted that several of the plagiarized passages originated from the National Education Association and the Ohio Department of Education websites.[15] This controversy resulted in the Anoka-Hennepin Education Minnesota teachers union rescinding its endorsement of Baltich on October 21, 2013.[16]

Issues in the district

Book banning debate

In 2013, Anoka-Hennepin 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.[21] 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.[22] 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."[23] 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.[24]

New school security measures

In response to the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting in 2012, Anoka-Hennepin School District implemented several new security measures for the 2013-14 school year. These measures include locking all entrances to district school buildings, constructing vestibule entrances requiring visitors to identify themselves before a staff member inside the building grants them access and the issuance of key fobs to after-school program participants to allow and to monitor entry into buildings. These initial modifications were made to the district's 24 elementary schools, two early childhood centers and one special education center, and the district is considering new security measures for its middle and high schools. District Chief Operations Officer Chuck Holden argued that this will turn these schools into "hard targets."[25]

Student bullying and mental health

During the 2009-10 and 2010-11 school years, a total of seven district students committed suicide. In July 2011, a group of students sued the school district and claimed that four of the suicides were due to anti-homosexual bullying and that the district did not adequately protect students from this form of harassment. The district settled the lawsuit in 2012 but denied these claims, arguing that the cause behind the suicides was instead mental health issues. Beginning in the 2013-14 school year, the district expanded its mental health offerings by contracting with an outside agency to provide 14 mental health professionals to students at a cost of approximately $2.4 million over four years. Superintendent Dennis Carlson praised the change and stated, "I'm just thrilled we are finally in a position to offer this kind of support on site... I saw students who needed help and needed it now."[26]

Key deadlines

The following dates were key deadlines for the Anoka-Hennepin School District election in 2013:[14]

Deadline Event
July 30, 2013 First day to file affidavits of candidacy
August 13, 2013 Last day to file affidavits of candidacy
August 15, 2013 Last day to file affidavits of withdrawal
October 15, 2013 Last day to register to vote in the general election
November 5, 2013 Election day

Additional elections on the ballot

This election shared the ballot with other municipal elections, which varied depending on the location of residents in the school district. Some residents cast ballots in mayoral and city council races in Circle Pines and Lino Lakes, while others in Coon Rapids voted in a bond referendum special election intendend to upgrade the city's parks and trails system.[27][28] Voters approved the $17.4 million referendum with 51.43% of the vote.[29]

See also

External links

Suggest a link


  1. Anoka-Hennepin School District, "General Information," accessed October 14, 2013
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 United States Census Bureau, "Anoka County, Minnesota," accessed October 14, 2013
  3. National Center for Education Statistics, "ELSI Table Generator," accessed December 26, 2013
  4. Minneapolis Public Schools, "Budget Documents," accessed December 3, 2013
  5. Anoka-Hennepin School District, "District Revenues and Expenditures," accessed December 4, 2013
  6. United States Census Bureau, "Public Elementary–Secondary Education Finance Data," accessed December 26, 2013
  7. Pioneer Press, "Statewide: All public schools," accessed December 26, 2013
  8. Pioneer Press, "Anoka-Hennepin," accessed December 26, 2013
  9. Star Tribune, "Metro," accessed December 26, 2013
  10. Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State, "Election Results and Statistics," accessed October 14, 2013
  11. United States Census Bureau, "Frequently Asked Questions," accessed April 21, 2014
  12. Anoka-Hennepin School District, "School Board Policies - 200 School Board," accessed October 14, 2013
  13. Anoka-Hennepin School District, "School Board Members," accessed December 17, 2013
  14. 14.0 14.1 Anoka County, Minnesota, "Anoka County Elections 2013 Election Calendar," October 14, 2013
  15. 15.0 15.1 Sarah Horner, Pioneer Press, "Anoka-Hennepin school board candidate accused of plagiarism online," October 18, 2013
  16. 16.0 16.1 Sarah Horner, Pioneer Press, "Anoka-Hennepin teacher's union withdraws school board candidate's endorsement," October 22, 2013
  17. Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board, "Political Committee and Political Fund Handbook," accessed December 17, 2013
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 Anoka County, Minnesota, "Campaign Finance Search," accessed December 17, 2013
  19. Sue Austreng, ABC Newspapers, "Six file for three seats on Anoka-Hennepin School Board," August 15, 2013
  20. 20.0 20.1 Grace Baltich for All Kids - Anoka-Hennepin Dist. 11 School Board, "Parents Deserve to Know…," October 16, 2013
  21. Aaron Rupar, CityPages, "Parents Action League wants 'Eleanor & Park' removed from Anoka-Hennepin libraries," October 2, 2013
  22. Minnesota Public Radio, "Using 'R rated' book without asking parents was wrong, school chair says," September 25, 2013
  23. American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota, "ACLU urges Anoka-Hennepin School District to keep Eleanor & Park on the shelves," September 26, 2013
  24. Shannon Prather, Star Tribune, "Challenged book to stay on Anoka High library shelves," November 22, 2013
  25. Olivia Koester, ABC Newspapers, "New school safety measures in place in District 11," September 5, 2013
  26. Sarah Horner, Pioneer Press, "Anoka-Hennepin schools to expand mental health offerings for students," July 16, 2013
  27. Anoka County, Minnesota, "What is on the ballot?," accessed December 17, 2013
  28. Coon Rapids, Minnesota, "The City of Coon Rapids Park Bond Referendum," accessed December 17, 2013
  29. Peter Bodley, ABC Newspapers, "Coon Rapids voters approve park bond referendum," November 6, 2013