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Minnesota Legislature

Legislative News and Views - Rep. Melissa Hortman (DFL)

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Wednesday, October 17, 2007
VOTE YES ON SCHOOL LEVY To the Editor: On Tuesday, November 6 area voters will be asked to approve a series of renewal and new levies for our Anoka-Hennepin School District 11. We as local state legislators would like to offer some insight as to why we will be voting “yes" on each question. Our school district is one of the best managed in the state. It has won repeated accolades for its cost-effective and efficient administration. It has found ways to help its students achieve commendable test scores and get a good start on their future in a globally competitive marketplace. Over the past decade, many programs have been reduced or combined, more fees have been added to sports, extracurricular, and transportation programs, and an already lean administration has been further consolidated. As the largest school district in the state, it has become a model in its efforts to live within its means and still provide quality education to its 40,000 students. Renewal of the existing levy is essential if the basic quality programs offered by our schools are to continue. Fortunately, the cost to homeowners and businesses is minimal for the renewal portion since it mostly just replaces an existing levy. The other portions of the levy requests would allow the district to assure future quality programming, improve its technology, reopen swimming pools, and grant students safer transportation. We understand that these measures come with a price; however, we believe that the cost is well justified for the benefit that our schools and students will receive. If the measures should fail, drastic changes would be made in terms of teacher layoffs, school closures, and fewer opportunities for our children. As you review the various items that come your way about this district levy request, please read them carefully, weigh the merits for our community, and then vote on November 6. Please join us in voting “Yes” on all four questions. Rep. Denise Dittrich, Champlin/Coon Rapids Rep. Kathy Tingelstad, Coon Rapids/Andover Rep. Melissa Hortman, Brooklyn Park/Coon Rapids Rep. Jim Abeler, Anoka/Ramsey -30-