Back to school: best wishes to educators, students, and families

by Rep. Bob Barrett

Schools are back in full swing in Chisago County and around the state. Best wishes to educators and families as students head back to the classroom.

I’m sure for many of you the start of the school year is bittersweet, just as it is for our family. Judi and I have two daughters who are now both in college. Our oldest daughter just spent the summer at Pearl Harbor helping take care of the young kids of military families. It was such a rewarding experience for her, as in her own words, “living on base and working with military families really opened my eyes to the daily struggles families endure … I thank (the military families) for all the sacrifices you and your family have made.”

With summer over, it’s nice to see their excitement for the year ahead—to reconnect with and make new friends, participate in sports, and increase their knowledge of the world.

My daughters attended the Chisago Lakes Area school district since second and third grade, and having a wife who is an elementary special education teacher, I understand the solid foundation my daughters’ education gave to them. I know well how vital a good education is for students across the state.

In our county we’re fortunate to have amazing people dedicating their lives to helping others.  Locally, our educators and school administrators are top notch and help provide an endless number of educational and career opportunities for our kids.

Over the last two years, I worked with SEE (Schools for Equity in Education) to remedy the funding gap that favors Twin Cities/St. Paul schools over other districts. Regardless of zip code, students should receive a similar opportunity to quality educational programs, as directed by our State Constitution.

Over the next year, I will continue to work with other legislators, the governor, and SEE to make this a reality. We need a fair system that helps our teachers and students succeed.


Call for mentors

Now that school has started, it’s the perfect time to enroll to be a mentor!

Over the past eight years I have been a student mentor through Fairview Lakes Medical Center’s “Friends Make a Difference” mentoring program. At this particular program, there is a waiting list for kids because we need more adults willing to be a mentor. They are waiting for you to become involved and join them in this very worthwhile program!

For more information on the Friends Make a Difference mentorship school-based program, please feel free to contact my office. I can be reached at (651) 296-5377 or [email protected] You can also call Kathy Bystrom of Fairview Lakes Community Health Outreach Services at 651-257-8439 or [email protected]

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