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Maple Grove Parents Advocate for School Funding

Members of a group called District 279 Strong Schools, Strong Communities invite residents to a free event at the Maple Grove library to learn about the importance of school funding.

Over the years, Maple Grove resident Laura Lovdahl has seen the impact that lack of school funding can have on a community.

With children who attend schools in District 279, a few years ago, Lovdahl joined the District 279 Parent Legislative Network, hoping to learn more about how schools are funded.

“From my own personal experience, I’m always frustrated when levies fail,” Lovdahl said. “I’ve seen these budget cuts impact the community. It’s not just me, it’s everybody. It’s the 20,000 students that Osseo Area Schools serves.”

In an effort to help raise awareness for the importance of the passage of school levies, in 2012, Lovdahl joined a parent group called District 279 Strong Schools, Strong Communities. They became a small army of people working to pass the district’s 2012 levy. But when the levy didn’t pass, the group stayed together.

“We know that there are a lot of parents and community members who are interested in school issues and education issues,” Lovdahl said. “That’s why we continued the group after the elections.”

Since the November elections, Lovdahl said about 60 parents and community members have contacted her group, looking to get involved. Group members have reached out school to principals, who are working to connect parents with school influencers.

On Sunday, Jan. 27, Lovdahl and the other Strong Schools members will meet at the Maple Grove library to help bring attention to the importance of school funding. Anyone is invited to attend the free event, which will include speaker Mary Cecconi, executive director of Parents United for Public Schools.

“The room at the library accommodates 50 people, and it would be a wonderful problem if we overflowed that room,” Lovdahl said. “Everybody can rally around the idea that having strong schools leads to strong, vibrant communities.”

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The free event on Sunday begins at 2 p.m. at the Maple Grove Library.

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