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Hmong teens fight to save program for urban students

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Hmong students in Minneapolis are lobbying to keep a state-run program intended to improve education for urban kids.

KSTP reports the majority of the school-age Hmong population in the city take buses to suburban schools instead of attending high schools in Minneapolis through The Choice is Yours program.

As a result of a settlement in the NAACP's educational adequacy lawsuit, eight suburban school districts are required to reserve 500 seats for low-income city students each year.

Fifteen-year-old Chou Yang and his brothers live in north Minneapolis but attend Hopkins High School. Chou tells KSTP that he and his siblings are getting a better education and there are more opportunities available. He also says there was a lot of bullying at the Minneapolis schools they attended.

Not only does Chou feel more comfortable, a study by the University of Minnesota shows that students in the program are successful.

The state pays for The Choice is Yours with a federal funding grant that's been awarded through 2013, but funding may or may not be allocated for next year.

Hmong students are trying to get the attention of Gov. Mark Dayton by sending hundreds of postcards to his office, urging him to save the program.

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