To the editor:
According to Wikipedia, education in its broadest, general sense is the means through which the aims and habits of a group of people lives on from one generation to the next.
In the last year New Ulm as a community has lost sight of that meaning. That loss of vision doesn't happen overnight - it is not an epidemic only to New Ulm but as adults we have lost our vision of what it means to support our next generation and we are teaching our kids not to care for the generation to come after them as well.
I hear everyone talk about "sacrifice." I can't pay higher property tax, I can't go without a raise, I can't pay for extra days of daycare, I can't support public school, I can't side with the school board, I can't side with unions etc. At the beginning of every single one of those statements is the word "I."
What about our kids? It is not about YOU - it is about THEM. There are people who really are scraping - but those are not the people I hear talking. The people I hear in this town saying they can't sacrifice are doing it while sitting in restaurants and bars, driving new cars, wearing $100 jeans, sitting at specialty parties and talking on $200 cell phones. Everyone in this town needs to make concessions - adults of all ages and religions need to have an HONEST talk with them and identify that they can sacrifice to support the schools - someone did that for them. Each of you got an education because your parents, grandparents, aunt and uncles, people without kids and with a lot of kids paid the dues for you to get an education of quality in this town. This is not an isolated public school issue - if ISD 88 isn't busing on a day that impacts our private schools, if ISD #88 cuts programs (special needs education, athletic programs) that private schools utilize those kids and families are hurt too. I don't use the Community Center but I know it is important and my tax dollars went towards that being built. I didn't say "I" won't use it so "I" won't support it - I thought about the greater good of this community. All of those who use it I bet are glad I thought about them - my hope is that we will do the same for our kids.
I have been handed a furlough before, I grew up in a single parent home, I have health insurance that increases each year when my wage doesn't, I have daycare costs, I have property tax bills I have all the same issues and woes as each one of you but I will NEVER complain about sacrificing anything so my child, your child, your grandchildren and the children that come along 40 years from now have the ability and means to get a good, quality education.
District 88 has limited means by which to get funding - if you don't know or understand that please educate yourself on the topic. Everyone wants "more" - there is no "more" to give. "More" to those with their hands out means "less" to our kids - less days of education, less books to read, less technology (which I am sorry folks is necessary in this day and age), less well rounded kids. ISD 88 has to rely on the State, they have to rely on the City and they have to rely on the Unions, they rely on YOU.
I am writing this letter because I want to ask everyone in New Ulm to take a look at themselves, their family, their friends, those kids playing in the park and riding by on their bikes and think about what you can do to help solve the crisis we have in ISD #88. How can you leave a legacy of education for the next generation? If your statement starts with "I can't" you have failed us all.