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Charter School Day at the Capitol

March 7, 2011

On March 1, I accompanied Kate Beiswanger, and five students, Ginger Coleman, Stephan Hines, Ben Andrew, Elijah Viola, and Noah Schmelzer on a trip to visit our state legislators. We attended the MN Association of Charter Schools (MACS) “Charter School Day at the Capitol.” Our day began at a nearby hotel conference space with a presentation and briefing by Eugene Piccolo and his staff at MACS. This was a great opportunity for all of us to hear about the work that is being done on behalf of charter schools in the legislative arena. (For more information, go to the MACS website: http://www.mncharterschools.org )

Some of our students had been there before and were helpful guides. In fact, our students represented our school very well; I was pleased and proud to spend the day with them. MACS had scheduled appointments with four elected officials who serve students who attend ARTech: Rep. Garofalo (Education Finance Committee, Chair), Rep. Kelby Woodard (Education Reform Committee), Senator Al DeKruif (Education Committee), and Senator Dave Thompson (Education Committee). A personal friend, Senator Dan Hall took us down onto the floor of the Senate and gave us a brief tour. We were well-received, and they listened attentively to our descriptions of our school and our appeal to them to support charter school-friendly legislation.

Especially considering that the representatives from our area are on education committees, I felt that introducing ourselves and giving a “face” to our name was important. The two representatives for the Northfield area, Rep Woodard and Sen. DeKruif, have been to ARTech and toured the schools. We look forward to building a good relationship with them.

Tammy Prichard – ARTech Board Chairperson

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