Not too long ago, offended dad and mom have confronted faculty boards over controversial subjects which have attracted vital media protection. Whereas some rhetoric is inappropriate and clearly the violent conduct is wholly unacceptable, there’s an underlying query in these conflicts that must be answered: “What’s the true function of a faculty district?”

Not too long ago, one White Bear Lake faculty introduced the elimination of failing grades. It desires college students to “concentrate on the method of studying” and “turn out to be good learners.” In idea that is admirable, however when colleges resolve to decrease requirements, eradicate private accountability and settle for mediocre efficiency, then we’re not making ready college students correctly.

Most profitable leaders say they discovered extra from their failures than they did their successes. In a fast-paced world financial system, there’s a demand for individuals who can compete on a world stage and ship high-quality outcomes on a constant foundation. Getting an “F” within the seventh grade since you did not flip in your project on time may emphasize to a youngster that there are penalties to their efforts. After White Bear Lake college students depart the protected confines of college, they may discover their future employers usually are not tolerant of lacking deadlines or failing to fulfill high quality requirements which may end in a worse consequence for the person — referred to as unemployment!

There are quite a few faculty board elections throughout the state on Nov. 2, and our youngsters deserve the right management that instills private accountability, not mediocrity, within the instructional course of.

Invoice Mahre, Hugo


I turned a faculty bus driver round 30 years in the past as a result of it labored with my youngsters’ schedules for varsity, however I additionally wanted to care for my household financially. I bear in mind my first expertise on the contract negotiating desk with the college district. I left the assembly feeling like the college directors did not care about bus drivers.

I want I may say instances have modified, however I now sit at bargaining tables throughout the state as government director of my union and these directors — who now make $100,000 to $190,000 a 12 months plus paid day without work, retirement and bonuses — permit bus shortages to worsen whereas an increasing number of cash goes into their pockets.

However it’s not their cash — it’s the taxpayers’ cash, and I do know group members would need their cash to be spent otherwise than how it’s now.

Many bus drivers and faculty employees work two and three jobs simply to have the ability to pay their hire. This isn’t how we should always care for our employees! They want unemployment; most individuals do not know that hourly faculty employees do not receives a commission in the course of the spring break or the vacation break and by no means for summers. They’re all the time taking part in catch-up.

It’s time for an actual change! The individuals who care for our youngsters must be acknowledged for the work that they do. They’re the important employees, they usually take care of our youngsters. I do know the group values them extra, and we want faculty districts to replicate that by making pay and advantages truthful for all faculty employees.

Kelly Gibbons, West St. Paul

The author is government director of SEIU Native 284.


The Star Tribune’s Oct. 8 editorial “OK, lawmakers: Step up on COVID” makes an ideal level, however not till actually the final sentence does the piece level out that it is Republicans, individually and as a political celebration, who’ve been unwilling to assist creation of a lifesaving, constant coverage for combating COVID, whether or not via common masks mandates in colleges or different measures. It is Republicans who refused to assist continuation of Gov. Walz’s emergency powers in coping with the pandemic, and it is Republicans who threaten to oust Minnesota Division of Well being Commissioner Jan Malcolm for no motive aside from that she’s doing her job.

The editorial ran on the identical day that the Star Tribune’s lead story on the entrance web page was “Faculty COVID-19 unfold stays excessive.” If the editorial’s purpose is to advocate for motion that may defend the state’s youngsters and broader citizenry, it must be clear that right this moment’s Trumpist Republican Occasion is likely one of the greatest obstacles we face.

(I am a member of the Winona Space Public Colleges Board.)

Steven Schild, Winona, Minn.


I will begin with my opinion that, if designed correctly, hire management initiatives can defend tenants from massive hire will increase whereas not discouraging funding in rental housing (“Reject efforts so as to add hire management,” editorial, Oct. 9). However it’s arduous to get behind both the Minneapolis or St. Paul proposal. By way of my consulting work I’ve studied varied hire management approaches and have concluded that there are three common requirements for sustainable hire management: 1) Clearly establish the properties to be regulated and the tactic for which the rents are allowed to extend. 2) Permit for a monetary return to the property proprietor in step with similar-risk various investments. 3) Have a easy course of for administration, one that’s predictable and minimizes authorized value.

Based mostly on the knowledge now out there, it isn’t clear whether or not both metropolis would meet these requirements, and the results of doing hire management poorly are nicely documented. The proposal for St. Paul has a stringent 3% cap on hire will increase, and whereas it permits exceptions to offer homeowners a good return, there is no such thing as a steering concerning what constitutes “truthful” (and exceptions are obtainable solely via what’s prone to turn out to be a really congested appeals course of). It’s arduous to think about how this technique wouldn’t discourage rental funding. The Minneapolis proposal, which empowers the Metropolis Council to design and undertake a hire management program, may nicely meet the requirements. However based mostly on the actions of the present council, this can be a huge threat.

Chip Halbach, Minneapolis


I purchased my first home on the East Aspect of St. Paul after I was single and dealing, in 1996.

Since then, I bought married and had a son, and we lived in that home for 20 years. As our son grew we would have liked more room, so we moved a couple of mile away, nonetheless on the East Aspect. My father-in-law had handed away and left us some cash, so we have been in a position to preserve that first home as a rental. We are actually mom-and-pop landlords.

We’re good landlords, and we have been in a position to preserve the rents affordable. We elevate the hire about 1% a 12 months. We’re glad to offer housing that is steady for individuals who want it and make an inexpensive return.

What we all know — and lots of who oppose hire stabilization appear to disregard — is that whether or not or not we make a bunch of cash on hire, we definitely make it in property worth. Our home is approaching the loopy valuations from earlier than the mortgage disaster once more.

We assist the Maintain St. Paul marketing campaign to stabilize rents. Our son goes to an ideal St. Paul public faculty on the East Aspect, and lots of his schoolmates are renters. It is higher for him, for them and for us if nobody has to maneuver as a result of a landlord raised the hire too rapidly.

We’re voting “sure” on hire stabilization this November.

Wendy Slade, St. Paul

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