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Meet the candidate: Abdi S. Omer

School Board candidate

What are your three biggest priorities if you are elected? 

Number one priority for me is how to increase overall achievement of our district versus other districts and remove the problems that are the underlying that. I am also concerned about the achievement gap of some groups of our community.

The School Board recently passed a $1 billion budget for St. Paul Public Schools for the 2024 fiscal year, the first budget of that size for any district in the state, with a plan to increase the number of teacher and support staff in the district. The increased budget includes an increase in state funding, a substantial portion of general reserve funds and federal COVID relief funds that will sunset at the end of next year. Do you approve of the plan for this budget? How will you prioritize budget items in future years as funding sources reduce, sunset or become otherwise unavailable?

Weigh the relative priority of new spending against existing commitments, request additional information from the administration.

And conduct robust oversight of spending and outcomes, also consider whether additional program evaluations might be worthwhile. 

As we emerge from the COVID pandemic, test scores are continuing to show students tracking behind pre-pandemic levels. While test scores aren’t the only measure of academic success, what are your thoughts on the district’s response to the learning loss experienced by students during the pandemic? 

As school board member I will support investment in summer schools and other recovery efforts to minimize the blow to pupils.

Student’s need to feel safe to learn their best, yet St. Paul Public Schools has had a number of high-profile violent incidents in recent years. In fact, a recent survey by SPPS found that about a quarter of families reported one or more of their children being involved in a violent incident. What is your position on how the district is addressing violence in St. Paul’s schools and ensuring student safety?

I will support limited to the specific schools resource officers and support identifying those students who are causing the problem. Look for counseling and other things to bring the safety on place.

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