Posted: 05/27/15 22:48
by Dave Mindeman
In the run up to the end of the last session and during the back and forth getting ready for the special session, the Republicans made a big deal about Governor Dayton's remarks that "some Republicans hate public schools."
Speaker Daudt and GOP leadership wanted an apology. They felt disrespected and the terminology couldn't be further from the truth. They do NOT hate public education.
Well, I guess I am going to agree with them somewhat. They don't HATE public education. They have a much bigger problem with it. They don't respect it.
Republicans give their support to private schools. They will stand with homeschooling. They even go to bat for some charter schools. But when it comes to public schools - they do not have the respect that should be given to our biggest public asset - public education.
The MN GOP doesn't respect the teachers. They don't respect the funding. They don't respect the value to our future. They don't respect the Constitutional mandate we have been given to educate every child.
And that is why it is hard for Governor Dayton to take them seriously when they negotiate on funding public schools. The House GOP prefers to define problems rather than look for solutions. Governor Dayton's promotion of Pre-K is not just a publicity stunt or a funding boondoggle. It is an honest attempt to add another tool to make Minnesota's kids the best educated in the country. To give Minnesota another edge for businesses looking for the best educated workforce. To give educators another means of fixing the achievement gap and tapping future potential.
So Republicans don't hate public schools. But when you are responsible for finding ways to educate every child in the state - not just most of them, but every one of them- utilizing every tool available....and yet do not respect the process that comes from funding that responsibility, you prove that you have failed your Constitutional duty for maintaining a public school system that works for all of us.
It is very simple. You cannot hate what you don't respect. And therein lies a very basic problem. A problem that will make a special session all the more difficult.