Harambee NOT OK after all

Seven hours ago we expected Harambee to get language in the waning hours of the legislative session. The Governor had met with all parties and hammered out an agreement. The Senate had agreed to insert the language for Harambee and the House agreed not to insist on corresponding language for Crosswinds. However, this did not happen.

When the final bill of the session came to the House floor from the Senate, it did not include language for Harambee.

As a result, Roseville does not have the ability to run the Harambee program as it had proposed.


It is now up to the EMID board, but Roseville and the board will have to explore alternative ways of facilitating a turnover of governance. There are ideas about this, but they are in the earliest stages of being worked out.

Of course, this makes it clear that especially Harambee parents will want to come to the board meeting on Wednesday 5/29 at Harambee.

Sincere apologies for the earlier post stating that Harambee would be OK. Given the agreement the Governor had worked out, we just could not imagine the result we saw tonight.

6 thoughts on “Harambee NOT OK after all

  1. Shane Longtin

    I certainly hope a list of senators involved in these discussions will be published. I cannot imagine a motivation for this type of underhandedness.

  2. Shannon Erickson

    Hi Eric! Thanks for the posting… I am a Harambee parent & my heart just dropped when I saw this. I thought we were all set for the fall. I have a current 3rd grader & one starting Kindergarten in the fall. Unfortunately I am not able to make the board meeting on Wed as I have something else going on. What can I do to help? Is there still a chance that Roseville will still be able to assume governance of Harambee?
    Thank you so much for being on top of this!!

  3. Eric Post author

    I would caution us not to be too certain of our ground with regard to the legislature. While I called special attention to a few senators above, the negotiations were complex last night and the result may not be only due to Senate intransigence. We are trying to learn more, but we are also turning our focus to our next steps: we have to find a way to keep Harambee open, maybe a way that will serve Crosswinds as well. We will keep everyone informed as we move ahead. The board meeting next week will be (dare I say) critical.

  4. Raeyna Longtin

    Eric– thank you for doing such a great job keeping us updated.

    I am positively heartsick about all this. I can’t even imagine what political wrangling is behind all this.

    I have a question– forgive my ignorance on all of this. But my recollection was that, by transferring Harambee, the option of EMID continuing to run Crosswinds for another year created a disaster regarding tenure and teacher contracts. If EMID could be convinced to run both schools for another year (assuming that this entire political mess could be resolved next session as “promised”), would that resolve that issue?? Or is that an issue which is already in place since they are already out of contracts?

  5. Eric Post author

    Raeyna, I do believe there were unanticipated consequences in the reassignments teachers accepted as part of the closure. I’ve heard that while teachers were able to keep the same pay scale, the were not allowed to keep seniority and are the first (tenured) staff fired in their new districts.

    As to how EMID continuing to run the schools would impact this situation, I can’t speak with any certainty. Ed Minnesota has been an unreliable source for teachers, so I’m not quite sure where to turn. Shari Thompson might have a handle on this. I would certainly imagine that something could be arranged. But this would take a kind of agility and focus that our board has not yet demonstrated. Let’s hope they are up to it!

  6. Sarah Ryan

    Eric, Thanks for continuing to keep us in the loop. I worked all weekend and only now have gotten to my email and I am absolutely aghast! As far as we have known for some time now, Harambee was a done deal! What happened??? I realize it’s tempting to focus on those questions, but I also realize that it’s more important to figure out what we can do now. I intend to be at the board meeting.
    Sarah R

Comments are closed.