Focus on education

To the editor:

An editorial about the state of education in Minnesota was startling. After years of legislators using budget shifts to rob our schools of needed funds, our state ranks 29th among the 50 states for its graduation rate.  Statistics also show we have one of the largest gaps between racial groups for graduation.

At a Burnsville town hall meeting Saturday, Jan. 26, to their credit, state Sen. Jim Carlson, and state Reps. Will Morgan and Sandra Masin pledged to safeguard the state’s education budget and work to pass full-day kindergarten legislation, in light of data about the receptivity of young minds. The meeting itself was well-attended, and provided the opportunity for comment by supporters and critics of education. Teachers like me, who are beleaguered by classes of 40 and more students, welcome the promise of the legislators. A letter recently suggested more parents home-school their children. In theory this might give parents more input and control in their children’s lives but the number of parents able to live on a single income may be limited to begin with.

Our state’s children deserve the best education we can give them, and scrimping on schools is not the way to achieve that goal. Investing in the development of our young people, has them flourish and our economy as well, all at the same time.

Larry Koenck