School News: No summer vacation for funding issues

By Deb Henton, Ed.D., superintendent of NB schools

The school year is now over and we had a wonderful staff appreciation breakfast last Thursday, full of laughter and even a few tears as we said goodbye to retirees. Each one of them was a blessing to the school district.

Most will put school business aside for a few months and that is certainly understandable. However, the business of the school district and the funding challenges it faces continue.

There can be no doubt that we need significant and long-term improvements to the way, and level at which, schools are funded in Minnesota. We deal with the fallout from the current system each budget cycle and at the end of each year when we say goodbye to highly valued employees.

Change at a state or federal level comes slowly, but it does happen. The one “game changer” in the pursuit of any legislative change, though, is people like you and me. Look at any significant shift in how we govern ourselves and at the beginning you will find people. Lots of them. Making their voices heard.

You have the opportunity to make your voice heard at the state level. We are fortunate to have a local Legislative Action Committee (LAC) to provide a vehicle for political activism. The committee is non-partisan and focused primarily on making those changes at the state needed by North Branch Area Public Schools and others that are underfunded.

School funding is a problem, and the need for change is understood by both sides of the political aisle. What our legislators, and other legislators really need is your support. Every voice that rises up to be heard is another reason for them to continue pursuing change.

Will you consider volunteering with the LAC? To join, contact Kirby Ekstrom at (651) 674-8153 or jan.kirby.ekstrom@gmail.com.

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