Minnesotans are telling elected officials, over and over, and in nearly every forum available, that the state must somehow make more money available to fund education. They are saying Minnesota is not valuing the education of our children sufficiently. They are saying Minnesota is not investing what is needed to assure an effective education for everyone.
DFL first-termers in the Minnesota House of Representatives say they are listening. They have organized a series of "Education Summits" to take place across the state, beginning Saturday morning, April 9, and running through Monday, April 11.
The four summit meetings will be in:
* St. Joseph -- Saturday, April 9, 10 a.m.-noon, Cold Spring Elementary, 601 Red River Ave. N., Cold Spring.
* Bemidji -- Saturday, April 9, 3-4:30 p.m., Bemidji High School, 2900 Division St., Bemidji.
* Austin -- Sunday, April 10, 5:30-7 p.m., Austin High School, 301 NW 3rd St., Austin.
* Brooklyn Park—Sunday, April 10, 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, 7217 West Broadway, Brooklyn Park.
Each session will be devoted to hearing public comment on the state of Minnesota's commitment to education funding. School board members, district administrators, teachers, parents and all interested Minnesotans are being invited to address the legislators.
Several first-term representatives will be at each summit. Many of them are taking the time to appear at sessions outside their own districts because they share a vision for the State of Minnesota, and share the values held by most Minnesotans on issues like education, health care, transportation and economic development. They share a belief that these issues are universal concerns throughout the state, and are too important to have potential solutions restricted by party politics.
Since taking office, first-term DFL representatives have emphasized their commitment to breaking through partisan legislative logjams that have kept the legislature from getting its job done. They are especially concerned with getting a budget approved that provides adequate funding for both K-12 and higher education, and distributes it equitably across the state. Their bottom line beliefs are that the state must commit itself to guaranteeing that all children in Minnesota get a quality education.
The first-term representatives' agenda is based on what they call "ABCs" of effective government: Accountability, Balance, and Common Sense. They also characterize their educational goals as part of an agenda focused on a more effective future for the state of Minnesota and all its citizens.
Further information on these Education Summits can be obtained from Sandy Dicke, House Assistant Sergeant-at-Arms, firstname.lastname@example.org, 651-296-5366.