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NV conservation group supports FERC's transmission planning rule; Memorial Day weekend includes Tornadoes and record-high temperatures; A focus on the Farm Bill for Latino Advocacy Week in D.C; and Southeast Alaska is heating homes with its rainfall.

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U.S. Supreme Court allows South Carolina gerrymander that dilutes Black voters, Sen. Ted Cruz refuses to say if he'll accept 2024 election results, and Trump calls Mar-a-Lago search an attempt to have him assassinated.

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Smokey Bear thought only "you" could prevent forest fires, but decomposing mushrooms may also help, a Native American community in Oregon is achieving healthcare sovereignty, and Colorado farmers hope fast-maturing, drought-tolerant seeds will better handle climate change.

Pushback vs. pushback: MN parents respond to political forces in education

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Wednesday, April 24, 2024   

Minnesota's largest school district is at the center of a budget controversy tied to the recent wave of school board candidates fighting diversity programs and some parents feel it's time to call out the "politicizing" of public education.

Students and parents packed this week's meeting of the Anoka-Hennepin School Board after a member posted on Facebook he and two other colleagues would oppose the new budget if it contained some diversity, equity, and inclusion provisions.

Kendra Redmond, a parent of school children and a grassroots organizer who has fought book ban attempts in the Bloomington district, said it is frustrating to see what is happening in the Anoka district.

"Public schools are meant to serve all students," Redmond contended. "School boards should be elected to do what's best for students, not what's best for particular groups or what aligns for specific stakeholders."

The Anoka-Hennepin board has seen its dynamics shift with the election of some members supported by conservative groups pushing "culture-war" issues within education. The officials and candidates contend DEI initiatives only foster more divisiveness in schools. Some of the programs being targeted in the Anoka district are mandated under state law.

Redmond and fellow parents in Bloomington recently formed a grassroots group to protect programs and materials that promote inclusiveness. She acknowledged she never thought she would become this active but noted it is a different environment now, with some voices deemed "extreme" having an influence.

"In our community, a lot of people leading the effort don't even have kids in the public school system," Redmond pointed out. "The fact that they're tying up the work of the school board, the energy of parents and the energy of kids; that're tying that up for political maneuvering is just a waste of everyone's time."

Nationwide, those tracking school board candidates with extreme views said the movement saw a dip in last fall's elections. Redmond emphasized parents should still keep an eye out for controversial actions and either speak up or run for seats themselves to counter what's happening.


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