Minneapolis School Board,
Years of advocacy as school parent
From the Minneapolis Labor Review, October 26, 2018
By Steve Share, Minneapolis Labor Review editor
MINNEAPOLIS — For Kim Caprini, the question is simple: “Can we focus on what’s in the best interests of our kids?” Making a second run for Minneapolis School Board, Caprini is seeking one of the two at large seats which are on the November 6 ballot.
In addition to her endorsement from the Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation, AFL-CIO, she’s also been endorsed by the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers, SEIU Minnesota State Council and DFL Party.
Caprini offers years of experience as a parent volunteer with advocacy groups and school site councils working to improve the city’s schools. “I feel so well-educated when it comes to this work,” she says. “I’ve done it because of my children.”
Her now 19-year-old is a student at the U of M while her 15-year-old is at Henry High School.
“There were opportunities for me to advocate not only for my own children, but for more children across the north side,” she says. “I didn’t stop. I just kept going.”
“Schools need to reach out to parents and let them know, ‘we want you, we need you,’” she says.
With so many school families facing challenges, Caprini says, “we still have to make sure we’re creating a school experience for homeless and highly-mobile children that’s conducive to quality education.”
Caprini is concerned about issues like class sizes, of course, but she’s also wants to reverse the decline in after-school activities. She believes the school district and the park district need to work together. “A lot of recreation centers don’t have enough programs or any programs at all… We have a lot of kids who have a lot of idle time after school,” she knows.
On the north side, she’s seen “we’re losing families to other schools in Robbinsdale and Brooklyn Center.” That’s why she’s advocated for bringing the International Baccalaureate program to north side schools.
Caprini’s mother, sister and brother all were union members who worked for the Minneapolis Public Schools. “The idea that there are folks who want to take away collective bargaining — it’s wrong… How are we supposed to take care of our families without strong unions?”