Letter: A vote for higher education
Your vote Tuesday will have a substantial impact on our collective future. Each generation is dependent on subsequent generations to preserve the quality of life we enjoy -- and value -- as Minnesotans. The wellspring for that future rests on our...
Your vote Tuesday will have a substantial impact on our collective future. Each generation is dependent on subsequent generations to preserve the quality of life we enjoy -- and value -- as Minnesotans. The wellspring for that future rests on our commitment to education at all levels.
As a parent of college-age young adults and as a local educator, I am acutely aware of the needs across the education spectrum. Our son, a recent graduate of the University of Minnesota, saw his tuition more than double in the course of the five years it took to complete his bachelor's degree. Despite working 20 to 30 hours per week while he was in school, tuition increases forced him to borrow so much that he is now working two jobs totaling 60 hours per week to make ends meet. Regrettably, his situation is not unique. We have let him and countless other young Minnesotans down by failing to live up to our historic commitment to affordable access to higher education.
At the local level, our students are like every previous generation: positive, hopeful, hardworking, and incredibly enthusiastic about learning. They want to be astronauts, nurses, firefighters, doctors, veterinarians, ballerinas, and teachers. They deserve what was given to me by my parents' generation: a quality education upon which they are able to pursue their dreams. Unfortunately, owing to inadequate education funding, they too are being denied the opportunity afforded to me for a high-quality, fully funded K-12 education.
So how should we vote on Nov. 7? For me, the choice is clear. Dean Johnson and Al Juhnke support public education at all levels. They always have. They understand the needs of rural schools and the children we educate. They believe in the birthright that we as Minnesotans have enjoyed for generations -- affordable access to higher education. When it comes to education, Dean Johnson and Al Juhnke "get it." Let's keep them working in the Legislature to restore Minnesota's historic dedication to full and fair education funding at all levels. A vote for Johnson and Juhnke is a vote for the future -- for all of us!