GUEST COLUMNIST: Public schools need equitable state funding

by MATT SCHOEN, SUPERINTENDENT

DELANO PUBLIC SCHOOLS

We are in the midst of our legislative session that will decide the future of funding of Delano Public Schools.

According to the Minnesota State Constitution, it is the duty of our state legislature to provide for a uniform public education system for our youth. Delano Public Schools is a member of an organization called Schools for Equity in Education (SEE). The main purpose of this organization is to work for equitable, adequate and sustainable education funding.

SEE believes that all public school children must have equal access to a high quality education regardless of where they live in Minnesota. This is the case in Delano, as we are a school district that does not get equitable funding compared to other districts in the state.

Our children and our public schools are a top priority for many of us. As Delano Public Schools struggles from inadequate state funding, many of us find ourselves wondering, “What can we do?” There are many ways to take action and be involved for our children.

First I suggest that you learn more about education funding in our state and how it affects Delano Public Schools. If you visit the SEE website, www.schoolsforequity.org, you can receive legislative updates via e-mail. The SEE website contains a large amount of information particularly regarding the funding of our public education system. A quick way to gain a better understanding of how this inadequate funding exists in our state is to watch the capital video that is on the front page of the website.

There are bills both in the State Senate and House of Representatives that are currently being heard in committees. All hearings regarding these bills are open to the public. If you are able, you can attend these meetings to support the bills that make voter approved levies more affordable in low property wealth districts such as Delano Public Schools.

Educational funding is a very complex issue. SEE and the information that is provided on its website is an excellent way to learn more about this issue and provide you with an opportunity to have your voice heard regarding the educational needs of our children.

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