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Letter: Schools should be something to brag about

Our schools. I would like to have our schools be a showpiece, for our community and our kids. The funding rules at the state level and declining enrollment has put a pinch on Minnesota schools. From the outside looking in it seems the state has funded the barebones of an education and left it up to individual communities to decide if they wanted more than that. Over the last two years we have been debating what our school system should look like. Should we cut this or that? Can we find cost reductions? Can we share with other communities? Can we find other funding?

Cutting at some point, will make our school system the same as the average Minnesota school. Nothing special. I have been in favor of finding cost cuts, sharing opportunities, and some very creative thinking. I have been in favor of cutting until it hurts and until we find a way out of the box the state has put us in. The cuts and reductions are showing up in the classrooms, we are becoming average, we are feeling the pain.

As a recruiting tool for younger employees, the school system has to stand out. As parent, and uncle of students in Perham, it has to be better than average. As a member of the community I want better than this. I want to brag about our schools and how we found a way to beat the system. I want to talk about how we invented and changed the game instead of living by some state formula that frustrates even the best bureaucrat. I like the local control we are taking on and I like that we are finding ways to make it happen in spite of the state funding issues. Some of the paradigms are shifting. I can support and encourage the change. I will be voting yes for the levy.

Craig Swanson