Schindler will help keep high-quality educators

Published 9:31 am Monday, October 24, 2016

I am throwing my support behind Gary Schindler for House seat 27A because he believes in strong public schools for Minnesota children as much as I do. Minnesota’s schools, from K-12 to higher education, are the foundation of our state. If we don’t maintain that foundation, everything else will suffer.

Gary and his opponent, Peggy Bennett, were both screened by local educators from both sides of the aisle a couple of months back. Gary walked away with a unanimous endorsement from Education Minnesota. Gary knows the importance that teacher tenure  (seniority) allows. Teachers are free to collaborate with each other and stand up for what they believe in without protection. Gary, unlike his opponent, also understands that vouchers will deteriorate public education by taking public education dollars and placing them in private and religious schools. As a fellow educator, Gary understands the importance of stable and reliable support for public schools — unlike his opponent and the rest of her colleagues in the House who last year proposed the lowest increase in educational spending compared with the Senate and governor.

One of the state’s most important functions is giving its kids the resources they need to get a post-secondary education followed by the training they need to enter the workforce. It shouldn’t be a political football every year at the Legislature.

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Gary has been a teacher, a school and college counselor and a college administrator. He understands schools of all sorts are as good as the people working in them. He’s committed to state policies that attract qualified educators and retain the great teachers and administrators already working in our schools. We’re facing a teacher shortage in Minnesota, and Gary is the sort of leader who will help keep high-quality educators in front of our kids for years to come.

As a longtime educator active with politics and the advancement of public education, I am proud to say that I believe Gary Schindler is the hands down choice for 27A.

Al Helgerson

Albert Lea