By Bill Hudson

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — For the next six weeks, many residents in St. Paul just might be getting a knock on the door.

It is part of a new marketing campaign designed to reverse the trend of declining enrollment in public schools.

Teams of teachers and administrators will be targeting neighborhoods of nine specific schools. The goal is to have 2,500 conversations with parents, touting the benefits of enrolling their children in St. Paul Public Schools.

(credit: CBS)

“It’s about getting out, talking about the great things that are happening in St. Paul Public Schools, seeing what more we can learn more from our parents and community members and encouraging them to come back to St. Paul,” said Nick Faber, local president of the Federation of Teachers.

The idea for the marketing campaign, “Select SPPS,” came from last winter’s teacher negotiations. It is a possible way to reverse enrollment declines and deep budget deficits resulting in program and staff cuts.

“One of the ways that we can help strengthen that is by enrollment,” said Superintendent Joe Gothard. “Enrollment is revenue for our school district.”

The district gets on average $6,200 in state aid for each student enrolled. That money is also lost for every kid pulled away by open enrollment, charter or private schools.

Randi Weingarten, president of the National Teachers Federation, says reversing these trends means rebuilding trust in neighborhoods.

“Community schools, wrap-around services, meeting the needs of parents and communities so that parents feel like the school’s a place they want to send their kids,” Weingarten said.

The campaign will officially begin on June 25.

Bill Hudson


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