The Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan Schools, Minnesota School District School Board has urged students not to identify as multiracial. This is because they want to see American Indian students counted as only one race in order to get more funding. It is racist and inaccurate. Project RACE has responded by sending the letter below to the local newspaper. We will follow-up with the district and call for removing member Coulson from the School Board.

To The Editors: In “District 196 Oct 1 Enrollment numbers up again,” (October 11) it is reported that the numbers of American Indian students can be increased by taking numbers away from the multiracial student numbers. This is reprehensible and racist. Shame on School Board Treasurer Art Coulson for urging parents to take away multiracial identity of students for federal dollars.

It is just as important for multiracial students to have their own identity reflected in enrollment numbers as it is for any other minority or racial group.

To artificially inflate the American Indian numbers by reducing multiracial enrollment for federal or state dollars is a terrible idea and reflects poorly on a school district that should be teaching honesty to its students, not data manipulation. The national multiracial community is very disappointed in this Minnesota school district and its school board.

Susan Graham for Project RACE