Legislators playing politics at our students’ expense

To the Editor:

I’m writing today because our State Senator Sean Nienow and State Representative Bob Barrett are playing politics at the expense us and our area students.

Sen. Nienow talks about his bill S.F. 2452 which holds back 1 percent of state budgets to be used to pay off the school shift. This is perhaps the most ridiculous bill of the entire session.  It’s like throwing crumbs to someone who’s starving.  Or throwing a pail of water on a burning house. Why?

The  state budget is around 34 billion dollars over two years. With about 40 percent of the budget going to K-12 education, that leaves around 20 billion for the rest of the budget.  One percent of 20 billion is 200 million dollars–100 million dollars a year.

Sounds like a lot but the reality is to pay off the over two billion dollar shift at that rate it would take about 20 years.  That will result in a whole generation of students receiving an underfunded education. Is  this really a solution?

Rep. Bob Barrett has a bill, H,F. 2540, which is supposed to help school districts like those in our area that are funded drastically below the Minnesota average for schools. His bill would cost about 30 million dollars statewide… unfortunately there is no funding for it.

He gets headlines for saying he’s working to help our school districts yet the bill he proposes is unfunded -there will be no money to implement it.  A hollow gesture at best.

Our kids get one chance at their education – we do not need politicians playing games with it.  We need legislators that will seek real solutions, not just misleading headlines that make themselves look good.

This is not only our children’s future at stake, its also the future of our communities – and the people we have elected to represent us are choosing short-term good PR over that future.

Susan Anderson, North Branch

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