Anyone who witnessed the public hearings hosted by the Minneapolis school board last year as its members sought the least worst options for closing schools and realigning the district to reflect shrinking budgets and enrollments could see the process was painful. And we don't just mean for the communities affected. Board members sat through hours upon hours of meetings in which they were routinely pilloried by angry parents before voting to approve their final plan.
The first board member to say he'd had enough was Chris Stewart, who announced in early February that he would not seek re-election. Now, board chair Tom Madden and member Pam Costain also say they're through. They told Minnesota Public Radio the school closures, the long hours, low pay and dismal vibe all contributed to their decisions. All three were elected in 2006.