LETTER: Vote ‘yes’ for St. Paul kids

To the Editor:

 

Thank you for allowing me to serve you on the St. Paul Board of Education. I am very proud that our schools provide opportunities for children in immersion programs and specialize in music, arts, aerospace engineering and more. The developing new strategic plan will ensure all children continue to get an exceptional education.

The Minnesota Legislature is charged with providing an education to all of our children. In 2003, it cut $2,000 per child to our schools. With tiny increases to the formula, funding is still $1,000 less than 15 years ago. Meanwhile, costs have gone up resulting in huge deficits of $50 million over the last three years and an additional $17 million for this year. We are losing staff and services every year that our children need. SPPS is the second largest school district in the state and has one of the lowest operating levies in the area.

The Board of Education has a question on the Nov. 6 ballot to increase funding by $475 per student, which would generate about $18.6 million per year to fund our schools. The tax impact on an average home is $11 per month.

While the Legislature has continuously defunded schools, St. Paul can now say, “We care about all of our kids and we are willing to invest in them!” Our economy, our health, our safety, our costs for human services will all reflect this very important investment.

Please vote ‘yes’ for St. Paul kids on Nov. 6!

 

Mary Vanderwert

St. Paul Board of Education member

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