Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Letter to the Editor

To the Editor:

I read a letter last week mentioning Representative Torrey Westrom, Governor Pawlenty, and Education Funding. Apparently the writer does not know that the Democrats currently control the House and Senate — and have done so since 2006. Words can be hollow, but facts are stubborn things.

The biggest funding source is the basic ‘per pupil’ formula. This formula flows equally to all children across the state.

Under eight years of DFL control (1992-1998 and 2007), the Total increase was $360 per student.

Under eight years of Republican control (1996-2006), the total increase was $905 per student.

In 2009, Governor Pawlenty proposed an additional $262 million for preschool through high school students and a 10% aid payment shift. In comparison, the DFL House proposed flat funding; the DFL Senate proposed $1 billion in cuts to early childhood and K-12 education. Representative Torrey Westrom spoke up and voted against rural teachers having to bail out the Minneapolis teachers’ pensions.

It has been Representative Torrey Westrom who has stood up to these Democrat proposals that would short-change our schools. Republicans continue to push for fair funding, accountability, local control, and innovative reform in education.

George W. Cassell
Alexandria, MN

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