WESTBROOK, Minnesota (STPNS) -- A lot of legislators have said they want to cut mandates and give local boards and entities more power. They talk about giving school boards more local control, but they speak a different language when it comes to what they actually do.
The last two years our school, along with about 24 other schools in southwest MN, have been doing an experimental school calendar. The calendar allows for the districts to start a couple of weeks earlier than the rest of the state. The consortium put together a comprehensive plan called the Flexible Learning Year known as FLY. The idea was to give students a head start on preparation for State Graduation Standards tests.
The plan is near the end of its second year, and the districts are now having to decide if they wish to submit a new plan to be implemented following the last year of the original plan which ends in 2013. The jury is still out on whether or not the plan is working the way they hoped it would. None the less districts have to decide if they wish to pursue a new plan starting in 2014.
Well over a month ago, a bill was introduced to allow schools to choose when to start and end their school years. The only stipulation in the bill was that no district could hold school on the Thursday and Friday before Labor Day. It sounded like a compromise plan that actually had legs, but somehow it must have gotten derailed by the powerful state fair and resort industry. I donít know what happened, as I canít find any evidence that it ever made it out of committee. The afore mentioned lobbies claim it would reduce tax revenues by over a million dollars ó Really? Even if that were true people would spend the money one way or another.
In the past when school used to start early, people still planned long Labor Day weekends, and kids in 4-H still were able to attend the State Fair.
Another thing that is bothering me is some Legislators are having a problem with a bill that would raise fees for hunting and fishing licenses. Their excuse is that they donít want to price people out of fishing and hunting ó Really?
Every hunting and fishing organization in the state supports this bill. Conservation and DNR also support it, and the fees have not been raised in a decade. Wake up people, do you think the DNR has been immune to increased costs in almost every area? Every business in the state has had to deal with inflation with gas, wages, equipment. I canít think of anything that hasnít gone up the past ten years.
If a person really canít afford to pay an extra four bucks for a fishing license, how would they even pay for bait, let alone gas to get to the lake. Four bucks . . . thatís less than a pack of cigarettes, a 12 pack of Coke, or a value meal at most fast food joints.
From now on I suggest we quit electing these alien morons, and elect people that will get things done.
Have a great week and do good!
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