To the editor:
A recent opinion piece about rising enrollment in charter schools was thought provoking. Yet the vast majority of our young people attend our K-12 public schools.
Prominent stories about school district budget cuts highlight the fact that our state legislators have been appropriating less and less each year after inflation for one of the greatest legacies we can leave our next generation.
Opponents of levy referendums to permit level spending on our students, cry the mantra of “accountability,” yet I can think of nothing more irresponsible than stinting on the education of our young people.
Ongoing growth in class sizes is a symptom of this irresponsibility. Another is the rate of pay for starting teachers, which can discourage juniors in college from borrowing hefty amounts to study education. Graduates of local two-year colleges are not being given any incentive to pursue teaching degrees and certificates. This is happening at a time when economists say we are investing less in our educational system than what is needed to create growth in our economy.
What we need is a change of heart and mind. We need this for the ability to compete on a world stage where foreign countries, and other states, are investing more in their future than we in America and Minnesota. It may seem like an old-fashioned value, working on a Minnesota Miracle again, but it is a future-oriented, forward-thinking belief that will repay us all in years to come.