Schools seek more state aid: More comedy
ST. PAUL -- School officials and some Minnesota legislators want a change in how schools get money. Property taxes, in particular, make school funding a difficult issue. "Our over-reliance on property taxes has created a system that is broken," G...
ST. PAUL -- School officials and some Minnesota legislators want a change in how schools get money.
Property taxes, in particular, make school funding a difficult issue.
"Our over-reliance on property taxes has created a system that is broken," Grand Rapids Superintendent Joe Silko told a legislative committee last week. "In some suburban communities, schools spend $1,800 more per student than we can in Grand Rapids, simply because we cannot pass a (levy). Our students deserve the same education as a student in Minnetonka."
Added Bemidji Superintendent Jim Hess: "Many seniors want to support their local schools, but they face hard financial choices. If the choice comes down to keeping their house or raising their property taxes to support their school district, they're going to keep their house."
Voters in both districts last month rejected increasing property taxes for schools.
There will be attempts next legislative session to move school funding away from property taxes, and probably to more state money.
U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar continues to build a reputation of being funny.
Speaking to an energy and environment conference last week, the first-year Minnesota senator told of a news conference she attended calling for higher car gasoline mileage requirements.
"The gasoline standards have not changed since I was in junior high," she proclaimed.
Two senior senators stepped up to the microphone and said they were among the lawmakers who got those earlier standards passed, causing Klobuchar to want to disappear. She promised not to repeat her junior high line.
Klobuchar also told of her service on the ocean subcommittee. Looking around the panel, she realized she was the only senator on it without an ocean. She sent a note to a colleague about her revelation, to which he replied: "Come back next year and ask for one."
A Washington Post columnist has called Klobuchar the funniest Senate freshman.
Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich headlines a Tuesday fundraiser for U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman.
Coleman hosts Gingrich in the Downtown University Club in St. Paul. A cocktail reception costs $250 per person, while a rally costs $25.
A Minnesota House-Senate committee is studying lessons learned from the Minneapolis bridge collapse and southeastern Minnesota floods.
Besides legislators, public safety leaders and other disaster experts sit on the panel.
The group will discuss disaster funding, school response and other issues.