Edina’s Legislative Action Committee promotes their education budget platform at the Minnesota Capitol


Malak Alkhatib

Senior Sabeehueen Mirza and Juniors Sofia Doval and Raja Chinnakotla participate in discussions about distribution of funding in Edina Public Schools at the Minnesota State Capitol. The Legislative Action Committee advocated their platform in hopes of addressing the specific needs of students and teachers and bringing reform to classrooms across the state.

Lilly Jaeger, staff writer

On March 8, Edina’s Legislative Action Committee (LAC) and ninth-grade U.S. Government students spent a day at the Minnesota State Capitol lobbying for legislation regarding Edina Public School’s budget and teacher and student needs. The LAC is a nonpartisan group made up of school board members, school staff, and students that was established by the school board in 2018. For members of the LAC, the trip served as a follow-up to the presentation of their 2023 Legislative Action Platform for Edina, which occurred in January this year.

“It’s about coming down and advocating for each one of our 9,000 students—that’s what our platform is about,” EPS Superintendent and member of the LAC Dr. Stacie Stanley said.  

Edina School Board member and LAC committee chair Julie Greene, who has served a pivotal role in rebuilding and organizing events for the LAC in the past two years, led LAC members and Edina students in the trip.

“I feel like every student deserves to be seen and heard and deserves an education and deserves to be respected. And I think in Edina, that’s what we’re striving to do, and so for me, I really wanted to contribute to that and that mission,” Greene said. 

Throughout the day, students and LAC members participated in meetings with members of the Minnesota Congress that represent Edina. Representatives opened the floor to questions from the Edina attendees, including junior Sofia Doval, who is one of the student members of the LAC. 

“I hope to meet with representatives and sit on committees to hopefully get more funding when it comes to mental health and to talk about the cross-subsidy levels,” Doval said. “I think it’s really important to advocate at the city and the state level because that’s where everything gets done.”

Trip attendees also got the opportunity to sit in on various education committee hearings, including both the Senate Education Finance Committee and the Education Policy Committee.

“I found it really interesting to hear the perspective [of each testimony] on the bills that are being passed right now and see the things we learned about in class,” freshman government student Olivia Windhorst-Chandler said. 

In the Senate Education Policy Committee, Edina attendees saw debate on bills and amendments in real-time.

“I truly believe in hands-on learning. We really got to see the process happening,” Dr. Stanley said. “We got to hear legislators actually arguing their side. We also got to see that they’re not mad at each other all the time, as it’s depicted on the news, and I think that’s important too.” 

At the end of each meeting with a representative, ninth-grade government students presented each legislator with a stack of letters from ninth-grade students regarding their views on current bills in the house and senate. Freshman Samatha Tietz presented Senator Alice Mann with the letters addressed to her after the meeting held outside the Senate Education Policy Committee. 

 “I think very directly saying these are all the students who have a voice, care, and a want and presenting [the letters] saying these views were written to you [is] really important,” Tietz said. “And this is a large group of people who are aware of what is going on in the government and want to influence and show their opinion to more accurately have someone representing them.” 

“[The LAC] strengthens our whole district community. It’s where we are able to come together and have a similar voice,” Greene said. “I hope that the legislators know that in Edina we’re paying attention to what goes on in the state because it impacts us in our district.”


Students and EPS community members can view the LAC platform and find further information on their page here: https://www.edinaschools.org/abouteps/school-board/legislative-action-committee