Paid political letter: It’s time for better representation in the House

Published 8:30 pm Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Many years ago, my late husband was a school board member. He was proud to serve the community and advocate for the students, families and teachers of the district. Albert Lea has good schools and good teachers, and this is something we can all be proud of.

So I was upset when our local representative, Rep. Bennett, voted against the omnibus education bill. By some estimates, this would have given our Albert Lea schools an additional $3.5 million. I don’t know what the estimates are for the other school districts in the legislative District 23A, but I am sure it would have been welcome funding for them as well. The money would have come out of the projected $9.5 billion surplus Minnesota currently has.

I hear that it has been a really hard two years for parents trying to help kids with work and juggling schedules. I hear from teachers that it was tough teaching with all the COVID problems, sometimes teaching in person, sometimes using the computer. They had to give up prep time or take extra kids in their own room because there were no substitute teachers. And I have heard that kids are struggling because they have gotten behind in their academics or are having mental health problems.

So why would Rep. Bennett vote against this bill? I believe she said that she did not like parts of the bill. But when our kids need extra help, and they need it now, I think Rep. Bennett should have voted for it. I think she has let the teachers, the kids and the parents in this district down. We need better representation.

Grace Skaar

Albert Lea