I keep collecting emails from the DFL candidates who want to challenge Chip Cravaack. I rarely read them. I’ll have time for that later. This one just caught my attention. Tarryl Clark is blaming Congress for shortchanging our local public schools. Other than their unfunded mandates for special education and the No Child Left Behind bureaucracy Congress has very little to do with the fiscal problems of the Duluth Schools. You would think a Minnesota legislator would know better. Evidently Ms. Clark doesn’t have a clue about the financing of public education. Either that or saying she will help save our local schools is a gross pander.
The simple fact is that our School Board in Duluth gambled big time. They decided to spend $5 million of its operational budget every year for bonds to build $315 million worth of new schools. They inked a deal with the banks to do this for the next twenty years. They gambled that the public would rejoice at the prospect of new brick and mortar forgive the theft of a building referendum and approve additional operational levies which would cover this deficit. They gambled and they lost. Our children lost.
Someday the public may dig deep into their pockets for our children’s sake. If so, Congresswoman Tarryl Clark will be able to take no credit for the rescue.
I just wanted to take a moment out from our end of the quarter fundraising push (you can contribute here) to make sure you saw what happened at the Duluth School Board last night.
The Board was forced to cut almost $4 million dollars from its budget, on top of all the previous cuts they’ve had to make! This means kids in Duluth will face larger class sizes, cuts to classroom technology, and fewer special education services.
Drastic cuts like these aren’t just happening here in Duluth, but across the region and around the country. Congress continues to break the promises that it has made to our kids, our schools, and our communities — the result is higher property taxes for you and me and districts struggling to find the resources to make sure all students recieve the educational opportunities to help them succeed.
Just last week I visited Piedmont Elementary in Duluth and saw the great work being done by the teachers and volunteers there. But they’re still facing growing class sizes and dwindling resources.
In order to secure the economic future of our region, we have to make sure that our schools are preparing all of our kids for success in the future. That means drastically reforming ‘No Child Left Behind’ to put parents and teachers in control of their kids’ education, expanding early childhood education to stop the achievement gap before it starts, and fully funding special education services.Â
I will bring my experience as a mom, a community volunteer and as a legislative leader working to strengthen our schools and educational opportunities for our kids – from early childhood through post-secondary education- to Washington.
I hope you’ll join me in this fight!
I haven’t included all the links in the email to help recipients make an easy online donation to candidate Clark. Sorry Tarryl.