A smart person once said "facts are stubborn things". The facts are that the schools in our area are being treated unfairly. We all agree that every child deserves the same access to high quality education, but there are some at the State Capitol who think differently. They support education funding - just not for the children of our area. The Minneapolis school district gets over $14,000 a student in funding, $14,283 to be exact. Meanwhile the school districts of our area get over 35% less per pupil!
Maple River $9,075 per child
Lake Crystal $9,428 per child
Waseca $8,967 per child
While school districts in the metro area splurge on things like artificial turf for their football fields, we lack even the basic funds to pay for teachers or textbooks. We can't keep going on like this. We have to change school funding so it more fair for the children in rural Minnesota. That is why I support reforming the educational funding formula. Metro districts are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on "cultural liason officers" or "integration program coordinators". I say lets put the money to use in the classroom. Reduce administration and hire more teachers. Lets cut red tape and use those savings to pay for new classroom materials. Lets put the focus on the children, not the adults.
With the exception of active and involved parents, teacher quality is the most important factor in determining the success of a child. I support merit pay for teachers so that we can reward the best and the brightest.
Education is about providing the same opportunity to the next generation that we all had. If politicians continue to support the same old tired, failed education funding formula of the past - we are doomed for failure. We can and should do better. Lets make education access fair for ALL of Minnesota's students, not just those from the metro area.