LETTER TO EDITOR: Let's make a deal with the Perham School Board
I do not know of any other people who have given as much to education in the community as my wife and I have. A few years ago, with the cooperation of the United Community Bank of Perham, we established a permanent trust in the amount of $50,000 to provide the Perham-Dent school district for reading classes for those in the lower grades. While we have had no reports on the project, we feel that it has provided the opportunity for those in the lower grades to improve their reading skils.
At the same time, we provided a similar amount to the City of Perham to help the VFW and American Legion to run their baseball programs and also provided funds for building and maintaining sports facilities.
Other contribution was $10,000 to the skate board park, which I hope is built soon as I was born in 1916 and probably won't be here much longer. Not long enough to make the Perham Hall of Fame.
As I grew up in New York Mills, a similar $50,000 went to the Mills school district for reading classes. A couple of parents have thanked me for helping their children. Because a couple of cemeteries didn't have enough funds to keep their grounds mowed, they got a trust of $50,000 so they could carry out their tasks.
This is our fourth winter in Minnesota having spent 21 years in Southern Texas. The school district there had three schools and the daily paper reported once that 500 kids who enter the first year of high school don't graduate. This is one district, there are eight in the Valley and all schools have the same experience. Almost all of them are Latino students. Then we hear that Minnesota drop outs are about 20 percent.
What kind of future do these kids have, maybe not even qualifying for minimum wage? Maybe they do what the three youngsters in Perham did-rob houses. In a large town, they go into drugs and other crimes and there is no future worth anything for them.
With the vote for additional funds for the Perham-Dent school, I think we owe these kids an education so they can qualify for college and decent employment. Let's make a deal with the Perham School Board. If they don't give their employees another pay raise, we will approve their additional funds. Pay raises compound on each one and soon it amounts to a great deal.