Commissioner Cassellius Appoints Members to Education Finance Working Group – March 22, 2011

/ 22 March 2011 / Parents United



Contact: Charlene Briner

(651) 582-1145

Click here for up-to-date information on the work of the Commissioner’s Education Finance Working Group.

Bi-partisan panel will be charged with making recommendations for school finance reform by early June

(Roseville, MN) –Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius has named members to serve on an Education Finance Working Group charged with developing recommendations for school finance reform. In addition to school and civic leaders, citizens and parents, working group also includes sitting legislative leadership.

“Nearly everyone agrees on the need to find a better way to fund Minnesota’s schools,” said Commissioner Cassellius. “If we’re going to do our best by every student, and fully support the teachers, administrators and districts who carry out the important work of educating our children, we need to reform the mechanism by which we fund schools to make it simple and transparent, and to ensure adequacy, equity and stability.”

Established as part of the Governor’s Seven Point Plan to establish better school funding, the goals of the reform proposals crafted by the working group are to:

  • Improve the adequacy, equity, and stability of pre K-12 education funding;
  • Simplify education funding;
  • Preserve local control;
  • Close the achievement gap;
  • Promote high achievement for all students;
  • Direct resources closest to students, teachers and the classroom.

The working group will meet for the first time on March 30 at 8:30 a.m. at the Minnesota Department of Education. The group’s directive from the Commissioner is to provide ongoing comment on current funding proposals during the legislative session with final recommendations to be made to her and Governor Mark Dayton in early June.

“I thank each of these Minnesotans for stepping up to serve our students and our state,” said Commissioner Cassellius. “I look forward to getting to work.”

View list of Education Finance Working Group members. View meeting schedule.


As attached:

Commissioner’s Working Group on School Funding Membership List
March 21, 2011

Co-Chairs: Peggy Ingison and Tom Nelson

Peggy Ingison (Co-Chair)
Chief Financial Officer
Minneapolis Public Schools
807 NE Broadway
Room 204
Minneapolis, MN 55413
(612) 668-0314
Tom Nelson (Co-Chair)
Interim Superintendent
Stillwater Area Public Schools #834
1875 South Greeley Street
Stillwater, MN 55082
(651) 351-8340
Earl Athman
Business Manager
Pierz Public Schools
112 Kamnic Street
Pierz, MN 56364
(320) 468-6458 ext. 1204
Julie Blaha
Teacher / President
Anoka Hennepin Education Minnesota
3200 Main Street Suite 360
Coon Rapids, MN 55448
(763) 421-9110
Mary Cecconi
Parent Advocate
Parents United for Public Schools
1667 Snelling Avenue North
St. Paul, MN 55108
(651) 999-7391
Art Coulson
School Board Member
Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan Schools
3455 – 153rd Street West
Rosemount, MN 55068
(612) 655-8102
Ric Dressen
Edina Public Schools
5701 Normandale Road
Edina, MN 55424
(952) 848-3900
Les Fujitake
Bloomington Public Schools
1350 West 106th Street
Bloomington, MN 55431
(952) 681-6405
Hector Garcia
Executive Director
Chicano Latino Affairs Council (CLAC)
60 Empire Drive
Suite 203
St. Paul, MN 55103
(651) 296-2992
Joann Knuth
Executive Director
MN Assoc. of Secondary School Principals
1667 Snelling Avenue North
Suite C-100
St. Paul, MN 55113
(651) 999-7330
Eric Mahmoud
Executive Director
The Best Academy
1300 Olson Memorial Highway
Minneapolis, MN 55411
(612) 381-9743 ext. 212
Coleman McDonough
North Branch High School
38175 Grand Avenue
PO Box 370
North Branch, MN 55056
(651) 674-1505
Bob Meeks
Executive Director
MN School Board Association (MSBA)
1900 West Jefferson Ave
St. Peter, MN 56082
(507) 934-2450
Colleen Mertesdorf
Director of Finance and Operations
Faribault Public Schools
2800 First Avenue NW Suite 1
PO Box 618
Faribault, MN 55021
(507) 333-6059
Jerry Ness
Fergus Falls Public Schools
601 Randolph Avenue
Fergus Falls, MN 56537
(218) 998-0544 ext. 1010
Mary Catherine Ricker
Teacher / President
St. Paul Federation of Teachers
400 Selby Avenue Suite A
St. Paul, MN 55102
(651) 222-7303
Dane Smith
Growth and Justice
2324 University Ave W Suite 120A
St. Paul, MN 55114
(651) 251-0728
Elona Street-Stewart
St. Paul School Board
1011 Portland Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55104
(651) 291-8569
Shari Thompson
Business Manager
East Metro Integration District #6067
30 East County Road B
Maplewood, MN 55117
(651) 485-5919
Denny Ulmer
Bemidji Regional Interdistrict Council
Special Education Cooperative
PO Box 974
Bemidji, MN 56619
(218) 751-6622 ext. 103
Greg Vandal
Former Superintendent
1404 – 9th Avenue North
Sauk Rapids, MN 56379
(320) 247-3739
Deb Wall
Director of Special Education
Forest Lake School District
6100 North 210th Street
Forest Lake, MN 55025
(651) 982-8129
Ex-Officio Members MDE
Representative Jim Davnie
215 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Saint Paul, Minnesota 55155
Brenda Cassellius
Minnesota Department of Education
1500 Highway 36 West
Roseville, MN 55113
(651) 582-8204
Representative Pat Garofalo
537 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Saint Paul, Minnesota 55155
Rose Hermodson
Assistant Commissioner
Minnesota Department of Education
1500 Highway 36 West
Roseville, MN 55113
(651) 582-8742
Representative Mindy Greiling
393 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Saint Paul, Minnesota 55155
Tom Melcher
Program Finance Director
Minnesota Department of Education
1500 Highway 36 West
Roseville, MN 55113
(651) 582-88828
Senator Gen Olson
75 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Capitol Building, Room 235
St. Paul, MN 55155-1606
Senator LeRoy Stumpf
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
State Office Building, Room 145
St. Paul, MN 55155-1206