Minneapolis blogger Sarah Lahm carefully read the “Master Plan” for Minneapolis, which goes into detail about the city of the future, and discovered that the master plan does not include any schools!

This could not have been an oversight. Schools are part of every community where there are families.

She writes:

“Minneapolis 2040 is a visioning document, designed to offer a planned-for picture of what the city will look like over the next 22 years (as part of the Met Council’s Thrive 2040 project). It has been in development since before 2014, and is now in the last stages of community input. By the end of 2018, the Minneapolis City Council will vote on the 2040 plan and the vision of Minneapolis it provides. After that, assuming the plan is accepted by the Council, it will be put into action via updates to the city’s zoning laws.

“The zoning laws will dictate how, exactly, Minneapolis will morph into the city depicted in the 2040 draft. (Zoning issues tend to really get people’s goat.) The vision is for a city with business nodes in multi-use neighborhoods, full of green space, access to transit, bike lanes, high density housing and…no schools, it would seem. A glance through the guiding principles and priorities behind the Minneapolis 2040 draft reveal virtually no mention of the city’s public education system, or education in general.

“The six guiding values for the Minneapolis 2040 will hopefully lead to “An inspiring City growing in equity, health, and opportunity,” according to a 2018 City Planning Commission press release. Those six values center around growth (boosting Minneapolis’s population and its tax base); livability (safe, green, healthy neighborhoods with access to amenities); economic competitiveness (including private/public sector innovation); health; equity and racial justice; and “good government.”

“These six values are expanded upon by a list of fourteen priorities, as identified by the Minneapolis City Council. The priorities offer more information about the values guiding the 2040 plan, but again make very little mention of public education and what role, if any, schools will play in this future version of Minneapolis.

“The emphasis seems to be more on turning Minneapolis into a “city without children,” in the words of writer Benjamin Schwarz. (He attributes this push to a “bevy of trend-conscious city planners, opportunistic real-estate developers, municipal officials eager to grow their cities’ tax bases, and entrepreneurial urban gurus that ballyhoo the national renaissance of what inevitably gets described as the Vibrant Urban Neighborhood.”)

“After the six guiding values and the fourteen priorities comes the ninety-seven (97!) goals of the 2040 draft plan. There is one goal that specifically touches on the importance of investing in children from birth to age 5, but beyond that…nothing.”

A city without children? A city without schools?