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State Representative JoAnn Ward

231 State Office BuildingState Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
651-296-7807

For more information contact: Gina Vega 651-296-5526

Posted: 2017-03-24
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Press Release

STATEMENT: Eliminating Perpich Center is Shortsighted


ST. PAUL, MN- Yesterday, the House Republicans released their K-12 Education Omnibus bill, which includes a provision to abolish the Perpich Center for the Arts.  Representative JoAnn Ward (DFL-Woodbury) released the following statement:

“Management challenges in recent years have not impacted the quality of education Perpich (PCAE) students have received.

The institution has always striven to provide unique, excellent art-based education to Minnesota students, and students across the state, and in the Arts High School have benefited. The benefits of integrated arts education are well documented in academic performance, creativity and personal growth.

To investigate these mismanagements, the Office of the Legislative Auditor conducted a thorough and extensive audit of which the findings were announced on January 19. The OLA’s primary mission is to promote accountability and strengthen legislative oversight of state programs. Over the past few months, and prior to the release of the Audit Report, Governor Dayton appointed 9 new and experienced members of the 15-member Perpich Board of Directors. A different executive director has begun and the newly constructed board has already met to prepare a strategic plan for the Perpich Center for the Arts.

Chair Jen Loon’s plan to completely eliminate the Perpich Center for the Arts within her K-12 Education Omnibus bill two months after the audit release is shortsighted and not the solution for our kids. The changes in Perpich leadership are a positive step in the right direction; they deserve a chance to make the necessary changes outlined in the audit.

The bigger issue that needs to be examined is why the House Majority is underfunding education with their $257 million K-12 education budget target.”

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