I have literally, never in my life, seen "adults?" (and I use that term loosely), handle a situation so poorly, and I am ashamed for those of you who feel the need to rant and rave like a bunch of children!
The reason the majority of the Brainerd area voted no, is simply because we cannot afford to pay out anymore toward the school system. I am a mother to three school-aged children, and nothing is more important to me than them! But the real facts are, the average family in Brainerd struggles just to meet our basic needs! And you're upset that we didn't decide to pay you more and give more to the schools? The average household income in Brainerd is just over $40,000 per year. The average teachers salary is over $50,000 per year! I'm sorry, but when it comes to me choosing between helping to support your salary increase, and all of our new young teachers (as great as they may be for our schools) or as you claim several school programs, I choose to put food on the table, a roof over our heads, and clothes on my children's backs! And if those of you, who are so up in arms over this referendum failing, can't understand why we would "do that to the children," I'm very sorry for you.
Licensed childcare provider
Volunteers could help schools
The merits of extracurricular activities for our youth are easily identified. Ideas on how to actually "save" the districts extracurricular activities for our youth appear to be less easily identified.
I offer three suggestions; first, all coaches, referees, field marshals, concessionaires, ticket takers, and other paid staff, please consider volunteering your time and talents for the 2008-2009 school year. The reduction of these costs may be able to save several more activities. Second, school administrators, please consider eliminating all non-conference competitions. By having less competitions for each sport we may be able to offer more sports. Lastly, consider providing financial donations directly to the school district towards extracurricular activities. Contact the Brainerd School District Athletic Office and donate your time and/or money. Together we can make a difference.
Kinship program is a blessing
We are writing this letter to encourage each of you to consider making a difference in the life of a child. Perhaps if we told you a little about our experience, we might encourage you to consider becoming an adult partner, also. We have been mentors for three years to Natasha and have been truly blessed to have such a kind and caring young lady enter our lives.
Natasha is such a grateful and appreciative 13- year-old. Because she doesn't expect "the world", she is fun and easy to mentor. We are thankful to her mom for raising such a great, polite kid. Our weekly activities may be as simple as baking cookies, eating out, playing games, or going to the movies. Natasha's favorite activity is going to the water park where Comfort Suites so graciously gives all adults and their partners complimentary passes. The Kinship staff hosts many activities for partners throughout the year so there is not a lack of activities to do together.
We are retired snowbirds who spend a portion of each winter visiting family and friends. During our absence, we replace our weekly visits with phone calls and postcards. It is true that absence makes the heart grow fonder because we are always thrilled to get back home to "hang out" with our young friend. We are aware that the goal of Kinship is for adults to make a difference in the life of a child, but our child has made a positive difference in our life. Please consider expanding your circle of friends.....just by one little person. In this season of giving, may we ask that you give the gift of your time? Believe us, you'll become the recipient!
Bob and Jeanne Larson
Media ownership is a concern
One of the most important keystones to true Democracy is media by and for the people. If corporate America ends up owning all of the news sources, our country will lose one of its greatest assets. Please help support the bipartisan bill, The Media Ownership Act of 2007 (S.2332). Thank you.
Pay our military more
The civilians in this country have no idea how much money is being spent on mercenary "soldiers." Our tax dollars should not be spent this way, if we are going to pay soldiers, how about paying the U.S. military more money?
Keep Nisswa school open
I am writing to urge you to keep the Nisswa School in operation. In 73 years, I have not lived in a community so involved in its school. We have had incredible support from our businesses, civic organizations, local charities, parents and citizens. Unfortunately, that doesn't pay teachers' salaries and transportation costs, but it does speak to the value of our school to the community and ultimately to the entire Brainerd area.
As a Foster Grandparent at the Nisswa School, I can vouch for the excellence of the school in all levels. Should that not be a consideration in your deliberations about which schools to close? I ask that you look at the scores and local commitment when you do comparisons. It seems that value in education and community involvement would outweigh costs such as those identified by school staff for transportation.
Lastly, I don't envy your position. As a board, you all face the acrimony from the disgruntled, many of whom are less than fully informed. Praise for whatever decision you make will hardly outweigh the forthcoming backlash. Know that I am grateful for your service and fully trust that you will base final action on the greatest good of the district and its students.
Children are our greatest asset. Thank you for reading my letter.
(John) David Loch
School district leases the ag center
As has been stated several times over the years and more recently during the public meetings leading up to the referendum, Brainerd School District 181 does not own the land on which the Community Ag Center (formerly the high school farm) resides. It is a long-term lease of county tax forfeited land that was established in 1973. As expressed by several community members in the past few weeks, please verify information before offering suggestions.
Michael A. Reeser
Community Ag Center Instructor and FFA Adviser
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