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Letter: Levy is crucial to the schools

If you are not directly involved in the schools you may not realize just how crucial it is that the levy pass. I work as a para-professional at Heart of the Lakes Elementary.

I see firsthand how stretched Perham-Dent staff is in every area, from custodial to technology, teaching to administration.

I have heard complaints in the community that there are too many para-professionals in our school system, which is disappointing. The truth is, para help is at a bare minimum. General education (vs. special ed) teachers do not have para support except to help those students with needs so great they cannot be met in a regular classroom.

Think for a moment what it's like to be the customer of a business that is short-handed and underfunded. Service just isn't at its best, even if there is potential for greatness and existing staff are top-notch hard workers. The customers of Perham-Dent Schools are children who come to these buildings to receive an education.

For some, it might be the only place they get a smile and a good meal, much less the skills to go on to college or a trade school. In every classroom, from kindergarten through 12th grade, one finds kids with an incredible range of needs. Expecting teachers to meet these diverse needs in over-crowded classrooms and with minimal resources is unrealistic. Settling for less for our children is not the answer.

I encourage voters to spend an hour in one of Perham-Dent's classrooms. You will understand that supporting our schools financially by voting yes for the levy is the right thing to do.

Trish McClellan