Minnesotans for Better Education, Standards and Testing

Minnbest is a non-partisan, broad based coalition of parents, educators and school advocacy groups who believe excellent public education is a foundation of democracy in America.

1/06/2005

Why we need a real Governor, not a pledge.

Real people, real pain

I was pleased to see the Jan. 4 editorial "K-12 education / Live up to the promise."

In 2002, Gov. Tim Pawlenty said he would not raise taxes because the average Minnesotan would feel little pain from the spending cuts. I beg to differ.

I have two daughters, and I'm a PTA president in a school district where two elementary schools will close. Many people are feeling pain because the school they love is closing.

One of my daughters has Down syndrome and receives supplemental health coverage through Medical Assistance.

Many people with disabilities rely upon this assistance (not available through private insurance plans) to live successfully outside of expensive institutions. She's part of the "skyrocketing health care costs" that Pawlenty wants to rein in to give public education a "small increase." Cuts to these programs will harm real people -- like my daughter -- and cause great pain, too.

Pawlenty says I need to choose one daughter over the other since he can't find enough money to adequately fund both public education and health care. Is this what he meant by the average Minnesotan not feeling pain?

It is immoral to force a parent to choose one child over the other. The majority of Minnesotans believe government should fund both public education and health care.

Average Minnesotans are feeling pain, and raising taxes should be an option. Pawlenty was wrong, and we should stop paying for his mistake.

Julie S. Anderson, Roseville.