Letters to the editor for March 22, 2013

Increase security

To the Editor:

Anoka Hennepin School District administrators are “vowing to do all they can” to increase security?

While key-less entry, close captioned TV, electronic check-ins and metal detectors are all wonderful, all the proposals in the world aren’t going to mean anything if Joe Blow can walk in off the streets on election day to any school in the district and not get stopped.

Because AH schools are polling places, they have to be open to the public on election day.

If AHSD was really serious about protecting the student and staff in our district schools, it would schedule staff development days on election day instead of having classes in session.

This is not a new idea. School crisis teams have suggested this to Chuck Holden and the Safety Committee before.

Their assurances would be more believable, when they can put this one, simple measure into place.

Sandra Kuder
Coon Rapids

Government and freedom

To The Editor:

Wes Volkenant (Letters, Feb. 22) put great effort into researching me. I wish he spent as much time researching our founding documents.

We acknowledge we have great differences in our views of government and freedom. An accurate understanding of these differences will hopefully guide others in their civic endeavors.

Mr. Volkenant begins by referencing Jefferson’s words “We the People” from 1776. He should know that those words come from the Preamble to the Constitution, written in 1787 by Gouverneur Morris of Pennsylvania. Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence in 1776, which I encourage everyone to read in toto every July 4.

WV then refers to “the peoples’ general welfare.” The word “welfare” does not appear at all in the Minnesota Constitution. The phrase from the body of the United States Constitution is “general Welfare of the United States” and not “general Welfare of the (United) People.”

This distinction is both intentional and non-trivial, and the phrase grants no enumerated power to the federal government. Please read Federalist paper #41.

WV then argues that the people are the government, because we elect representatives and have opportunities to express our views.

Mr. Volkenant, “We the People” are not the government. If we were, there would be no reason to recognize the right of the people “to petition the Government for a redress of grievances” nor would there be a need for government to “[derive its] just powers from the consent of the governed.”

It is government that created Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. Use of the phrase “commitments we make to each other” in reference to them is political marketing made by those who have forgotten that another commitment once made was to not infringe our right to keep and bear arms.

Mr. Volkenant takes “no exception” to any rule, any regulation, any guideline that government might decree.

I do, not only because I have personally seen examples where such rules lead to dysfunctional, wasteful, counterproductive and even harmful behaviors by people and organizations, but because in many cases government has assumed a power to which it has no right.

Government is force. The awareness that government is force causes patriots unease when successful people are “asked” to “contribute” a “little more” in taxes. Honest people understand this to mean “send us even more of your money or we’ll put you in jail.”

Mr. Volkenant’s view of government is built on mis-stated and misunderstood phrases. His is a world where TJ wrote “We The People” in 1776 and where the Constitution speaks of “the general welfare of the people.”

His is a world where freedom means destroying small and voiceless children and the issuance of more government licenses.

He and I don’t just have different views. We have different realities.

My reality (also called reality) leads to a vision of a limited government that allows a free and moral people to live their lives without fear of running afoul of the King’s decrees and without toiling to satisfy others at his whim.

His reality leads him to embrace a collectivist, socialist, statist and totalitarian vision where virtually every aspect of our existence passes through the filter of government.

Our forefathers died creating and defending my vision, while many have killed imposing his. Which reality would you prefer?

Jeff Baumann
Coon Rapids

District 11 at disadvantage

To the Editor:

Recently, I had the opportunity to meet with the Anoka-Hennepin School Board chairperson to discuss Gov. Dayton’s budget and the impact it would have on our school district.

What I learned disappointed me. We are returning to budgets that leave districts like Anoka-Hennepin at a disadvantage.

The achievement gap is the number one problem in Minnesota education. Anoka-Hennepin has closed the achievement gap in math by nearly 8 percent while receiving less funding than the state average.

Governor Dayton broadens the funding gap. Anoka-Hennepin would receive an increase $18 lower than the new state average in 2014 and $148 lower than the new state average in 2015.

Additionally, the governor’s budget rolls back reforms that had strengthened our base funding. This puts effective programs, like the Blaine Center for Engineering, Math and Science, at risk.

Gov. Dayton’s proposal also removes nearly $2 million in integration funding in fiscal years 2014-2015.

I will continue working with our local school districts and the Legislature to address these disparities to make sure our schools receive fair and equitable funding.

Michelle Benson
State Senator, District 31

Support foreducation

To the Editor:

When costs increase, typically so do wages. So why has the price of education risen while support from the state has fallen?

The MnSCU budget request is attempting to address this unbalanced trend by halting the education funding cuts and placing more money in the hands of those who need it.

It is vital aid to colleges and students to ensure they get a proper education for the real world and a job within it. Not only that, but it will make it affordable for those desiring to pursue and fill necessary job slots in Minnesota’s future.

Should the MnSCU budget request go through, 10,000 internships will be opened up for students through $12,000,000 of the appropriated funds, while $21,000,000 will be used to acquire state of the art equipment to be used in training the future work force.

That will be matched by the private sector as well, which is fairly impressive.

Beyond all of this, education in Minnesota will be cheaper, less stressful and most importantly possible.

There is an increasing demand for trained workers that we are simply not meeting. With a more advanced, possible education, Minnesota will be able to keep up with the world and prosper.

I believe we can make this great state even greater. There is so much potential to channel from the work of our citizens, we just need to make it that all important word – possible. I encourage anyone with a desire to see how tall Minnesota can really stand to support the MnSCU budget request and inform our lawmakers, and help bring opportunity to all who wish to make use of it.

Kevin Parker

Comments Closed