Parents react to overcrowding at RPS

Rochester Public Schools is racing against the clock as the city and population continue to grow since elementary and middle schools are overcrowded. The School Board made the decision to move forward with a two-question referendum that will ask voters to approve funding to reconstruct old schools and build new ones. Tonight -- parents and students react to this solution.

Posted: Mar 20, 2019 11:42 PM

ROCHESTER, Minn. -

Nolan Podein is six and a student at Bishop Elementary. At that age, you don't worry about overcrowded classrooms. That said, little Nolan is all about improving his school, jazzing up the learning environment.

"I want the school to be a little bit more funner and bigger so we can have lots of fun and more learning foundations," Podein said.

For Nolan's mom, Megan Podein - more funner means ear-marking tax dollars for a major renovation of Nolan's school.

"I totally agree with building, making it bigger, making it safer for the students," Podein said. "I think that's the price the taxpayer should pay for safety of their kids."

Podein acknowledges - there are advantages to smaller class sizes, but this mom is pragmatic.

"Smaller class sizes are probably ideal but they are doing what they have to do what they have right now," Podein said.

Temidayo Omoyele has a daughter at Hoover Elementary and knows the changes ahead will be challenging.

"When we go through changes, it's really hard," Omoyele said. "We have to re-process, restructure everything we do. For these ones, for parents, for teachers, it's going to be a whole lot of process."

While this busy mom has reservations, those reservations are not her focus.

"All I'm gonna do...support the little ones, support my family, support my children and support their teachers," Omoyele said.

14 percent of the surveys sent out were returned - with overall support for the district's base plan. The referendum takes place November 5th.

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