I want to commend Rep. Dale Walz for his support in helping to pass the K-12 Education Finance bill this week in the Minnesota House of Representatives.
His vote demonstrates his ongoing support for education. The K-12 Education Finance legislation provides more than $355 million in new funding, three times more than proposed in Gov. Ventura's budget. Overall, it allocates some $8.7 billion in general fund money for K-12 education over the next two years. Not only does the bill provide an increase in the general education formula benefiting all schools, but it also provides millions in equity revenue, more state equalization aid for local referendums, and funding for alternative teacher compensation programs.
In voting for the bill, Rep. Walz not only demonstrated his support for increased funding, but also for increased accountability. Under the bill, school districts would have to adopt structurally balanced budgets and a school district's academic and financial performance would undergo independent evaluations. This way, Minnesota taxpayers can be assured that their tax dollars are being used in the best way possible to enhance student achievement.
This is a generous and responsible K-12 bill that targets many school needs, as well as the need to be accountable to taxpayers. You can be proud of Rep. Walz for his support of these bills and his support for Minnesota schools.
State Rep. Alice Seagren
Chair, House K-12 Education Finance Committee
Talk to your kids
I was driving my kids to daycare this morning when we stopped at a stop sign and a young man, probably about 13 or 14 years old, crossed the street in front of my car. As he was walking he pulled out a pack of cigarettes from his pocket and put one in his mouth. What happened next is what upset me. He threw the empty pack on the street like it was nothing. He acted as if it was his right to throw his garbage on the street. He obviously does not care about himself or his community. I honked at the young man to get his attention and asked him to pick up his garbage. Needless to say he kept on walking. Even though it is illegal for him to smoke he can choose to contaminate his body, but it is not okay for him to litter the streets in our community. Parents, I am begging you, talk to your kids, teach them this is their community and acting like this young man did shows he has no respect for himself or the community. It is our responsibility as parents to guide our children and teach them to respect themselves so in turn they will respect others and their community. Please talk to your kids and teach them by your example. Not only will they learn respect for themselves, they will begin to understand that our community reflects all of us. Let's all keep our community clean.
Accolades and sour grapes
We just returned from a trip south and as we toured Minnesota's highways both my wife and I remarked how nice the roadsides looked where the Adopt-A-Highway volunteers have picked up all the trash. Hats off to all those people who pick up after the rest of the Litter Pigs!
On our return we had a mound of Dispatch papers to read and I came across your April 26 guest editorial from the Owatonna People's Press in which the writer was blasting the politicians for the lack of highway plans and funding. It struck a note with me. We had just driven 700 miles of Interstate 35 and when we crossed back into Minnesota from Iowa, the highway becomes a journey of torture. Sections of I-35 from the Iowa border to Owatonna are a disaster; the road is littered with potholes every few feet that will destroy any vehicle!
Ironically in years past we joked about Iowa's bad roads, but now every Minnesotan should be embarrassed to invite a tourist to this state. The same applies to the Scenic North Shore, U.S. 61, one of Minnesota's leading tourist attractions.
I'm sure the officials will grouse about lack of money, bad weather and rock slabs underlying No. 61, but it is interesting to note that when one crosses the Canadian border the road becomes smooth as silk!
We also noted that they had enough money to erect a huge mega $$$ rock sign made in the shape of the state of Minnesota at the Iowa border to welcome travelers, unfortunately all that will do is identify where the bad roads start!
For a state with a budget surplus it is pathetic to let the roads get in such bad condition ... Someone is not doing their job.
Doesn't smell right
In reading The Dispatch, I learned of a plan by certain people to allow illegal immigrants to obtain drivers licenses. (The ploy was for safety.)
Under the Clinton Administration, a motor voter law was enacted, and the office of Civil Rights sent out directives to every state motor vehicle agency warning employees not to ask applicants if they were U.S. Citizens because this would be a violation of their civil rights!
Under the motor voter law, anyone applying for a drivers license is asked if they would also like to register to vote.
I do not know what motives the people who are pushing this so-called safety drivers campaign is, but it sure doesn't smell right to me.
Everyone should write to their senator and/or representative asking them to repeal this terrible motor voter law.
If you do not defend your rights as a voting citizen, you will surely lose them.
Martin W. Ehrhardt
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