Perpich Center for Arts Education would be abolished under House bill

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The fate of Perpich Center for Arts Education, in Golden Valley, is in the hands of Minnesota legislators after the March 3 introduction of a bill to abolish the school.
Republican Reps. Jenifer Loon, Eden Prairie-District 48B, Sondra Erickson, Princeton-District 15A, and Cal Bahr, East Bethel-District 31B, authored the bill, that if approved, would require the school to close June 30, 2018. The companion bill in the Senate, was authored by Sen. Roger Chamberlain, Lino Lakes-District 38.
The bill was introduced after the January release of the legislative auditor’s report regarding Perpich’s decreased enrollment, management issues and lack of transparency.
“We expected, because of the audits, that there would be a legislative response,” said Ben Vander Kooi, Perpich’s new board chair and an attorney in Luverne. “We didn’t think it would be an easy (legislative) session based on the audits.”
The bill has had multiple hearings in the House of Representatives but no hearings in the Senate.
According to Vander Kooi, although the House wants to abolish the school, the Senate wants to allow Perpich the chance to fix things.

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