blasted on school funding issue
Representative Torrey Westrom of Elbow Lake was blasted at a meeting held in Hoffman when trying to suggest that the state funding proposed by Governor Pawlenty will allow for smaller class sizes.
Superintendent Ness said, “Since 1997 we’re $440 behind per pupil on the formula when adjusted for inflation. WCA is definitely spiraling. Our enrollment is declining. We need a variety of solutions for our budget issues, including increased state funding, budget cuts, plus referendum money - or rather, local taxes.”
Ness added, “We need more revenue. We’re a state that values good roads, good schools, good health care, and we’re willing to pay for it.”
Westrom responded, “If more are willing to pay, then why are school boards and counties reluctant to go to referendums? The public generally doesn’t pass those.”
Ness replied that the cost of government has gone down over the past few years, from 17 percent of gross personal income to 15 percent.