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Jacobus misleading on Crosswinds funding claims

I was surprised to read in your story "Crosswinds bill picks up steam in Legislature" that Superintendent Keith Jacobus said "current estimates put 833's financial loss to Crosswinds at $400,000. But that could grow if Crosswinds picks up more students from surrounding districts, including District 833."

This is inaccurate at best and quite misleading.

In fact, District 833 only sends about $280,000 in "tuition" money to Crosswinds for the 38 students who attend. To call even this number a "financial loss" is wrong, since that money is pass-through money designed to follow students, just like it would for open enrollment. District 833 does not provide any services for those students, so it is not losing anything when those students attend another school and that school gets the corresponding funding.

Furthermore, as Jacobus well knows, District 833 actually makes money whenever a student attends Crosswinds. Those students still generate local levy money in the South Washington County School District and the district does not pass any of that money along to Crosswinds. So even though District 833 does nothing to service Crosswinds students, their levy money goes to 833's budget for a net financial gain.

And if you dig just a little deeper you find that 833 gets over $2 million a year from integration funds that the district would not get at all except for its collaboration with the East Metro Integration District, of which Crosswinds is a part.

EMID and Crosswinds have been a fantastic deal for 833. That Jacobus and others want to shut down the Crosswinds program and not even allow the Perpich Center to step in and keep it alive stuns me. They are killing the goose that laid the golden egg, and they don't even seem to know it.

Eric Celeste

St. Paul

Why are our gas prices highest around?

Can anyone explain to me why the gas prices in Cottage Grove are just about always the highest around?

I know of a couple who drove here from Texas about a year ago and they stated that the highest gas prices they encountered in that entire trip was right here in ol' Cottage Grove. I just checked online and discovered these average prices per gallon: Cottage Grove $3.69, Woodbury $3.55, Hastings $3.53 and Oakdale $3.45.

I have been watching and these differences are quite common. I am just curious as to why this is.

Mike Krasky

Cottage Grove

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