For our prosperity, repay schools

To the editor:

The recent opinion piece by Lisa Snyder, superintendent of Lakeville schools, was very encouraging. Her willingness to investigate new technologies to support excellence in students’ education, and her desire to partner with higher education and business is a bit of what has worked for the benefit of students over the last several years. Snyder’s call for pursuit of new pathways to excellence, potentially involving all members of the public, is inherently appealing, and potentially very powerful.

Her remarks about the lack of financial sustainability of public education, the increased class sizes, the decreased educational choices, points to a scrimping and Scrooge-like policy in government that has hurt our state and most telling, our young people themselves. Certainly, it would seem prudent to look for “other ways” for students to pursue excellence. And the brazen “borrowing” of billions of dollars from the state’s education budget last year, with little or no intent to find ways to repay the theft, is prominent in what Snyder discusses, by its absence.

As legislators come to the Capitol in St. Paul to be sworn in, it might be clear there is a mandate to feed the goose that lays golden eggs for Minnesota. We must heed the researchers who say we need to invest in education, that that kind of investment comes back to us many-fold, and that to create economic uncertainty for schools is not best in the long-run for the places that train our young people, our legacy. The technological innovation called for by Snyder is valuable, and the money to implement it and continue innovating is what is crucial for the future of the metro area and the state.