As politics fire up, even school board races feel the heat

- As battles in Washington fire up, even local races for school board are feeling the heat.

Last month the Center of the American Experiment, a Minnesota-based conservative think tank issued a report focusing on an Edina High School English class that reportedly made some students and their parents uncomfortable with race. Now, the 12 candidates vying for just four open seats on the school board are making national news.

"It's concerning when outside money is coming into a school district," said Larry Jacobs, a political science professor at the University of Minnesota. "School board races are training grounds for politicians, and for ideas. We're seeing both the left and the right pushing different ideas they have and trying to develop talent who can then run for higher office."

And as battles in Washington bleed down to the local level, districts across the state are beginning to see the effects in everything from hiring decisions to curriculum--not to mention important spending decisions that ultimately determine the way schools are run.

Also on this year's agenda for Edina is a $13 million operational levy that goes to teachers within the district which expires at the end of this school year.

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