Republican educators send letter to Dayton following comments

Published 10:05 am Friday, May 22, 2015

Eight Republican House of Representatives members with experience in teaching responded in a letter on Thursday to Gov. Mark Dayton about his controversial comments about education earlier this week.

Peggy Bennett

Peggy Bennett

Dayton in a news conference on Tuesday stated some Republican lawmakers “hate the public schools” while he was discussing the opposition to his plan for school-based pre-kindergarten.

In response, eight House members, including District 27A Rep. Peggy Bennett, R-Albert Lea, wrote the letter in response, asking Dayton for a meeting to discuss their perspective as teachers.

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“Our differences in opinion on this issue are rooted not in hatred for public schools, as you recently stated, but rather a goal to target our resources effectively to ensure we are lifting up the children who need the most help on their path to educational achievement,” the letter states.

Other representatives signing the letter were Rep. Ron Kresha, R-Little Falls; Rep. Sondra Erickson, R-Princeton; Rep. Dean Urdahl, R-Grove City; Rep. Dan Fabian, R-Roseau; Rep. Kelly Fenton, R-Woodbury; Reb. Bob Dettmer, R-Forest Lake; and Rep. Greg Davids, R-Preston.

The representatives noted the support the education bill received Monday night, stating 123 legislators from both parties voted in favor of the bill that Dayton vetoed, while 73 voted in opposition.

The bill provided more than a $205 average increase per pupil statewide for every student in the classroom and more than $60 million in new funding for early learning initiatives such as early education scholarships and school pre-K aid.