Letter: Fund safety in schools
Please support Minnesota school districts' ability to increase their taxing authority from $30 per student to $45 per student.
Many Minnesota school districts' officials are lobbying the state Legislature to authorize them to increase their levy amount for several reasons. The South Washington County Schools district has funding for school safety at the top of its list of reasons for seeking authority to tax for additional funds.
Currently, safety measures are partly funded by the school district's general fund, which is used for many services. As a result, it is poorly funded. Increasing the district's taxing authority would enable the district to adequately fund safety independently of its general fund.
School safety should be a top priority for two main reasons. First, psychology has proven throughout time that if people don't feel safe in a situation, then they will not be able to function properly. Therefore, students who don't feel safe will not be able to achieve to their fullest potential. This is one of the contributing factors of poor student achievement in inner city schools in the United States.
Second, it is society's responsibility to protect children. We have great power over children. With great power comes great responsibility. Schools take safety seriously. There are policies and procedures in place regarding assault, bullying and such. However, if they don't have the money to hire staff to carry out safety monitoring and intervention duties, then their good intentions are pointless.
Please contact your state legislators and Gov. Tim Pawlenty and tell them that you support increasing school districts' taxing authority to $45 per student.
You can find out how to give your opinion to them at www.leg.state.mn.us or (651) 296-2146 for the House and (651) 296-0504 for the Senate. Give your opinion to Pawlenty at www.governor.state.mn.us or (651) 296-3391.
Christie L. Thompson