ST. PAUL - If St. Paul lawmakers didn't notice the lifejackets Tuesday, they certainly heard the loud chant coming from the Capitol rotunda: "Save Our Schools, Save Our Schools."
About 70 people from both Brainerd and Crosby-Ironton descended upon the state Capitol Tuesday, sending a message to lawmakers that the state needs to find a better way to fund education.
Cynthia Askerooth-Olson (left) and Nancy Palmer, both Brainerd first-grade teachers, joined about 70 Brainerd and Crosby-Ironton residents Tuesday as they rallied for fair and equitable education funding at the state Capitol rotunda. Brainerd Dispatch/Jodie Tweed
The group, headed by parent Anne Holub, took two chartered buses Tuesday to St. Paul. They included mostly Brainerd parents, teachers and students but also about a dozen residents from Crosby-Ironton.
The group met with area legislators and education lobbyists in the DFL caucus room in the Capitol building Tuesday morning, including Rep. Mindy Greiling, DFL-Roseville, chair of the House K-12 Finance Division.
Wearing "Save Our Schools" buttons and waving "SOS" signs, the group rallied in the rotunda Tuesday afternoon. Many spoke about how the failure of the November school referendum has affected their lives.
Rep. John Ward, DFL-Brainerd, joined Jeff Wig (left); Katherine Wig and Arabella Jones, both Forestview eighth-graders; and Rebecca Wig, a Forestview fifth-grader, at Brainerd Day at the Capitol Tuesday in the state Capitol rotunda. Brainerd Dispatch/Jodie Tweed
"Everything stinks right now," Forestview eighth-grader Katherine Wig said in the rotunda. "Sports are being cut, people are losing their passions, their hobbies. What will happen to the kids who look forward to that one special class and that one special teacher who understands them?"
JODIE TWEED may be reached at email@example.com or 855-5858.
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