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Want my Minnesota representatives to value education

To the editor:

As we wind down 2019, I wanted to take a quick look at how my Minnesota representative handled an important issue to me: Education. On May 30, Governor Tim Walz signed the E-12 Education Bill. The bill boosts funding for public schools by $543 million, including an increase in per-pupil state aid to public school districts of 2 percent in each year of the two-year budget. This was a bipartisan effort to increase funding for public schools.

The problem is that Representative Chris Swedzinski did not vote to support this bill.

Then there is the issue of funding our public colleges and universities. Student debt is at an all-time high and the schools in the Minnesota State system (like Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall) are desperate for more funding to lower the cost for students. Our Minnesota State colleges and universities serve more students than all the private colleges in the state and the University of Minnesota combined and they also charge significantly less tuition.

But when the higher education budget passed in May, the Minnesota State schools only got one-third of what they needed. And Representative Chris Swedzinski was apparently fine with this, as he voted to approve this unacceptable budget allocation.

Minnesota has one of the best education systems in the country and I want to keep it that way. I want my representative to value education. It is apparent to me that Chris Swedzinski does not. I will be voting for someone else to represent me in 2020.

Ben Walker

Marshall

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