Mayor Disagrees With Canceled Classes

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minneapolis and St. Paul public school districts canceled classes for a second consecutive day Tuesday as Minnesota deals with subzero temperatures and the aftermath of a snow storm.

St. Paul Public Schools Superintendent Valeria Silva said “logistical challenges” are still a factor in getting the children to school. Many school bus routes remain partially blocked. Also, wind chills are dangerously cold and having students standing outside for buses that could be delayed isn’t safe.

St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman said he disagrees with the decision to close schools again Tuesday. Coleman said he’s personally toured the city and found the majority of streets have been cleared. He said a second day off puts an undue burden on parents and families.

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  • Tricia

    REALLY Mayor Coleman, what part of St. Paul did you drive in, your rich neighborhood. Some streets over on my side of the city still are in passable and the plow trucks did not plow to the curb so when cars are parked only one car can barely get by. Also the corners are full of snow upwards of about 6 to 8 feet, so how are the kids supposed to stand on the corner?? I am not letting my children stand on the street when they are that narrow! Don’t blame the schools, blame the City and your office!

    • Spencer

      Should the Mayor come to your house and shovel your corner for you?

      You are obviously stupid beyond belief

      • Katee

        You are kidding right? The city hasn’t plowed my street yet. The corner is my neighbors lawn, three houses down, so I don’t think I’ll be plowing that out. She is absoluely right that the streets are not wide enough for both parking and passing as well as so many streets were not even done as of this morning.
        Any other day, maybe you would have validity to say say such comments, but with the frigid weather today, I most definately believe we are putting our kids at risk having them “waiting” outside for what is sure to be much much longer than usual.
        No one is trying to “save money” here. Are you serious? They are looking out for the best interest of the kids, and to be honest, I thank them. I’d rather have two days off of school for my daughter, then to risk one kid being in danger.

  • Cheap Skate

    I think the districts are doing it to save money and blaming it on the weather.

    • Marc

      How does that save money? Schools only get money for actual student attendance.

  • David

    Creating more weak and stupid people for a better tomorrow. Yah stay home!

    • Rolly

      David……….You are such a crybaby………you got my comment kicked off……..
      You are weak and stupid! Uppa You!

  • dale graves

    you run the city the board well run schools you diddn’t ask the board if you should call an snow emergency

  • John

    He probably went nowhere near the highland park, Merriam park, and Mac Groveland neighborhoods which are reduced to 1/2 lane per direction.

  • tietac

    More signs of g;lobal warming! Like we have never had winter weather before. School management is insane. How can they make up their state aid now?

    • lukkay

      Add two day on to the end of the year. Districts have snow days built into their calendars. Missing these two day doesn’t affect any of their funding. I thought Minnesotan’s were supposed to be smart??

  • John Paul

    Dale Graves obviously missed a lot of school for snow days and other excuses.
    Well (Will), diddn’t, an (a). Nice job making the Mayor’s point

    • ChoirBoy

      PTL John Paul…….!

  • m.

    I agree it’s not safe to have children wait at a bus corner that isn’t completely plowed it would be so sad to have a child slip & be run over by a bus. Then everyone would be screaming why weren’t the schools canceled?
    but if it’s that big of a headache to have the kids home from school they should have the option to drive/walk the kids to school themselves.
    I assure you that it’s not to save on the budget as the teachers are still expected to arrive at school on time & be at school for the whole day. The teachers & school would much rather be teaching now, than possibly having a make up day down the road!
    I also don’t buy the cold, it’s MN! It’s going to be cold, you need to dress appropriately! They don’t cancel school in Alaska because it’s too cold, or they would never have school. As a parent you need to be responsible & dress your child for the weather.

  • Stephanie

    I agree with Mayor Coleman. I am the parent of a kindergartener in SPPS and I see no harm in having them go to school in inclement weather. I have driven throughout St. Paul, from near Roseville to downtown and by Ford parkway. While there is still snow on the streets, if people would drive with a little courtesy and some common sense there would not be any greater of a risk for kids riding the bus than if it were raining.

    Try explaining to a young kid why they can’t go to school, but you have to go to work. It’s a double standard! My child has always been told her job is to go to school and learn – but telling her that her school is closed, and then going out in that same weather to go to my job makes no sense!

    There is no reason that a child with appropriate cold-weather gear cannot stand out to wait for the bus for a few moments. If we give kids the idea that during inclement weather they are excused from being a productive member of society then we are just grooming them to believe that inclement weather will always excuse them from their obligations.

  • m.

    I just looked in Duluth & Ely where it was more than -20 this morning THEY still had school!

    • N

      How many kids are in their school? And Ely is a huge Metropolis to boot!
      They aren’t the brightest bulbs up there…..but they do have Will Steiger driving their bus!

      • Former Elyite

        They may not have huge classes, but the kids are scattered all over the place. Ever been to Isabella? That’s one long haul, but the buses run there twice a day. It’s a harsh environment, but you have to learn to live and deal with it and that’s what they do. And, btw, Ely had (don’t know if it’s still true) one of the best school systems in a state that was already known for having a great public school system. Just because people choose to live there doesn’t make them “dim bulbs”.

    • Former Elyite

      Ely NEVER cancels school! The only time they do is if the whole state shuts down, like in ’96. Unless things have changed since I grew up there, but I doubt it. That’s just the way it is, It’s cold! If they canceled for that, they’d never have class. and believe me, I got frostbit on more than one occasion walking to school. Oh, well. It’s Minnesota!

  • A.J.

    Mayor Coleman lives on the West Side, just wanted to put that out there..not on the rich side of town. Streets are plowed, but slippery here. You would be surprised at how many kids are not dressed for the weather. I believe the school closures has to do more with the roads/buses than the weather…transportation usually has part of the final say.

  • Hannah

    Minnesota should have school all year around with the exception of the mid part of December to the first part of February. Forget all these days off like Columbus Day, Veterans Day, Martin Luther King Day, Presdients Day, etc. etc! Let the kids go to school in cold weather….the buses and school buildings are heated and some are even air conditioned so kids could go to school in the summer time!!!

  • red

    25 years ago we didn’t have days off for the cold weahter, what the heck, I recall standing outisde at the bus sop freezing my toes off give me break poor babys so then what are you suppose to do with your kids when you have to go to work and have no one to watch them

    • Art

      You might have gone to school when it was cold Red! But you froze your brain on the way! And if you went to school Twenty Five years ago then you’re just a KID……..

    • Mary Jane

      Um, red, I’m your age, attended St. Paul Public Schools 25 years ago and we did have snow & cold days. You have a point about having to go to work and suddenly having no one to watch them.
      However I live in a part of one of the last neighborhoods to be plowed and most of us (who didn’t have giant, heavy, 4-wheel drive vehicles) literally could not leave the neighborhood. I suppose if I were really a tough Minnesotan I would have shoveled the streets myself or found a team of oxen to pull my car to the main road, but alas I fell short.I understand that for most people, attending school would have been no inconvenience, but to some it wasn’t an option.

  • PK

    I live in Merriam Park and there are ‘gates’ of snow on the East/West streets due to the plowing of the North/South streets. There is no way a bus could maneuver around that. Some North/South streets are only plowed on one side, and I have heard that some streets remain unplowed.
    I do not see how they would be saving a lot of money because of this. It is a burden on parents that work since childcare is hard to find so quickly. Some charter schools and parochial schools are closed also. They don’t go by the SPPS decision (i.e. Hi-C is open but no buses).

  • lukkay

    David, If you think missing school days because of snow makes students weak and stupid, then you must of had a lot of snow days in your school career.

  • Rob Wagner

    And property taxes keep going up because of education. Close all the school in by book. There not schools anyways there daycare providers.

    • lukkay

      Bob, schools are no longer funded by property taxes (thanks to Jesse). Get your facts straight. Volunteer in a school sometime, so you can find out what really goes on there. Educate yourself before you make ignorant comments like that.

  • Dean

    Stop complaining. I have three young children in MPS and I think the best decision has been made keeping them home these last two days. Attending school in the city presents many challenges different than that of the suburbs (and we attended school there until this year). Many streets and bus stops are in need of additional clearing (and I think they are doing the best job they can although, towing ALL cars violating the snow emergency would be best). The temerpatures are far too cold for students to be walking to school (and, like it or not, many have to AND, many will be under-dressed – this is a fact) A few extra days in the summer is far better than endagering the lives of our young people all because we don’t like having to ‘re-arrange’ our schedules. I have enjoyed the last couple of days and am glad we have school officials ‘brave’ enough to make difficult decisions when putting student’s safety first.

  • Krissi

    I agree with Hannah’s comment that kids should be in school during the summer and out of school for the winter. I would rather have my children standing at the bus stop in the rain than in below zero wind chills. Plus, by the time my young kids get off the bus in the winter, it is dark out.


    Hey, St Paul, Let the mayor drive a school bus today!!!

  • Slacker

    I love skipping work for whatever reason…………Work SUCKS!……plus I’ve got plenty of money in the bank from frivolous lawsuits……and there are tons of plows and other heavy equipment on the road so I’m doing society a favor by staying off the roads……………

  • dunnski57

    Just another politician telling the education world what to do. Yada, yada, yada.

  • The_Truth

    Meh, if you declare a snow day, all those kids will just be playing outside in the same dangerous streets you were trying to keep them off from catching their bus.

  • Alan

    Move to the suburbs…school is open, streets are plowed..and crime is lower..

  • Cathie

    I would like to know if the mayor would feel the same way if he had a child with special needs, who after exiting the bus had to climb over a 3ft or higher snow pile. Yes the streets may be clear. But all the snow is pushed to the curbs. Schools do not have the same big equipment that big buinesses have. The crews are out their with snow blowers, small plows, and shovels. The teachers would much rather be in school teaching. It is my understanding that snow days are built into the schedule. In the last ten years the St. Paul Schools have been called off for 4 snow days. (counting the last two days). We are calling this the worst storm in recent times. Isn’t the safety of students important? School buses are not 4wheel drive, they slip and slide when we have less snow. Students come in telling how their bus got stuck or slide on the ice. I was out in my car and I slide on the black ice. Mayor come take out a bus and drive the streets of St. Paul after a snow storm. .

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