Bus headed to capitol on March 5

This article submitted by Linda Stelling on 2/28/01.

In order to lobby the legislators for more funds, Education Association Paynesville has leased a bus to take to the state capitol on Monday, March 5. Educators across the state are sponsoring "Keep Minnesota Smart" on that day.

Hundreds of parents, teachers, and school board members will lobby legislators in St. Paul, urging them to invest in students and public schools.

According to Cheryl Bungum, the local teacher's union is encouraging students, parents, teachers, and community members to go down to St. Paul to show unity and support for the education of students and the future of our community.

The bus will be leaving from in front of the high school at 7:30 a.m. on Monday, March 5, and returning about 5 p.m.

Any individuals interested in riding the bus should call Bungum school at 320-243-3761. "It would be wonderful to have great representation from Paynesville to show the strength and dedication of our community to our future," she said.

According to Minnesota Educator newsletter, if the governor's budget goes through:

1. Three-fourths of the state's school districts will see a net decrease in their total general education revenue over the next two years.

2. Twenty-one districts will see a two-year decrease of more than 10 percent.

3. In the first year alone 85 percent of districts will face decreases, meaning immediate cuts in programs and staff. In 50 districts, that decrease will be more than five percent.

4. All of this would mean fewer learning opportunities, larger class sizes, and fewer resources at a time when the state has a $3 billion surplus.

"All of the above cuts would most likely be over and above what Paynesville has already had to cut in this past month because of declining enrollment. Our community and school district cannot allow this to happen," Bungum said.

More than 500 letters were sent to Governor Jesse Ventura from the Paynesville community in the last month. Anyone unable to attend the rally is asked to write letters of support for keeping Minnesota and Paynesville smart, Bungum added.

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