Tuesday, October 2, 2007
Nexus Privatization Illegal?
Mille Lacs News
While NEXUS continues to try bullying it's way into the community, one thing
it can't threaten or coerce is Minnesota State Law. Is the corporation
unlucky in law, or are they just going about things the wrong way? According
to NEXUS, they have successfully privatized their academy schools in
Illinois. But can they do this in Minnesota as well?
One of the many controversial issues surrounding NEXUS is the planned
privatization of their proposed school. Some area educators have expressed
deep concern that by breaking away from the Onamia school district, our
local schools will be hit hard financially. Instead of providing jobs, teachers and
staff currently working with the MLA students will in fact lose their
jobs if Nexus goes private. Additional funding
currently earmarked to cover MLA students will also be discontinued, further
weakening the school district's already floundering financial structure.
its bid for tax abatement, NEXUS states:
"In addition to treatment, the [Grosslein/Bye] property will be used to
accomplish the public purpose of providing secondary education for the
ninety four [sic] residents in the program."
This might sound fine and dandy, but - providing secondary education
is mandatory for such a juvenile facility. How does this "accomplish the
public purpose"? This sounds like more NEXUS doubletalk.... Don't let the wording
mislead you: these ninety-four students are not local "residents"
from our community, but convicted sex offenders from other people's
communities. If these inmates were not here, there would be no need to
educate them here - and the school district could concentrate on
educating our own kids. Is it any wonder that parents are choosing to
have their children educated in Pierz and Milaca - where the focus is on
normal, even "gifted" kids?
goes on to say:
"We intend to provide an educational program approved by the Minnesota
Department of Education and accredited by the North Central Association of
Schools. We will employ certified regular and special education teachers who
will be paid by the Academy."
There are two problems in the above statements. First of all, they are
125A.515, which clearly states:
(a) The district in which the
residential facility is located must provide education services, including
special education if eligible, to all students placed in a facility.
(b) For education programs operated by the Department of Corrections, the
providing district shall be the Department of Corrections. For students
remanded to the commissioner of
corrections, the providing and resident district shall be the Department of
Mille Lacs Academy is licensed by the
Department of Corrections.
The second part of
NEXUS' statement indicates that teachers will be paid by the Academy.
This is untrue. Sure the paycheck might
appear to come from NEXUS, but don't be fooled. The MLA students' home
districts will be billed, the Academy reimbursed, and inevitably, once again
it will be the tax payers who will bear the cost, not NEXUS.
Are you beginning to see how they work? Very clever, don't you think?
I have a hard time
typing the following statement with a straight face...
"Although the residents home district will be charged for educational
services based on state approved rates, the local taxpayer benefits as they
are spared the cost of providing separate schooling facilities for ninety
four [sic] residents."
I'm sorry! I can't
hold it back! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
The local taxpayer
benefits? HOW? Because taxpayers in the home district have to pay and local
taxpayers don't? Talk about smoke and mirrors! Do they think we're stupid?
statements are in NEXUS'
requesting that it not be required to pay property taxes. If NEXUS is
granted tax abatement, who do you think is going to make up for the lost
revenue in Mille Lacs County, the City of Onamia, and the school district???
THE LOCAL TAXPAYERS!!!!! Does this sound like NEXUS is concerned
about our taxes? Its trying to make us carry their load!
Its like saying -
Don't worry - You will benefit because - after you buy me my free
lunch, you don't have to buy me dessert. I'll lessen your burden by getting that guy over there to pay
for my pie.
That is our
benefit? We pay for the salad, the fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy,
baked beans, biscuits, coffee, a large milk... but we benefit because we don't have to
pay for the pie??? It doesn't even make sense! Yet, we are expected to buy
ninety-four students are NOT from our community! Not our obligation. Not our
problem. Not our responsibility. These sex offenders are
being placed in our community to keep their communities safe!
(Where is the benefit? Where is the logic? Where is the sanity?)
To sum up the NEXUS proposal for
It doesn't conform to Minnesota State Law
It is not beneficial to our school district.
It does not benefit our community.
NEXUS cannot promise to create teaching or educational staff
jobs as a means of satisfying requirements for getting tax abatement. These
jobs are created and controlled by the Onamia public school district, NOT
pays it's taxes, would there even be a need for a school referendum?
been determined to be TAXABLE.
privatization plot appears to be illegal.