“Next in importance to freedom and justice is popular education, without which neither freedom nor justice can be permanently maintained.”
—James A. Garfield, 20th President of the United States

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

This is not a done deal

The point cannot be stressed enough — either we sit back and wait to see what hand we are dealt OR we hold our legislators and governor accountable.
Let our lawmakers know that we care about education and we want it funded at appropriate levels. Take two minutes and drop them an email or make a call. The South Dakota Education Association offers this simple, sample postcard and some talking points.
Gov. Dennis Daugaard: email or 605-773-3212
Sen. Larry Tidemann: sen.tidemann@state.sd.us or 605-773-3821
State Rep. Scott Munsterman: rep.munsterman@state.sd.us or 605-773-3851
State Rep. Spence Hawley: rep.hawley@state.sd.us or 605-773-3851
If you would like some inspiration, consider this eloquent, moving letter written by a Brookings teacher to Sen. Tidemann:
My name is Eileen Hall.  I have taught Art in the Brookings School District for two and a half years.  If the proposed budget cut goes through, I will possibly lose my job or be cut to a half-time position.  Fine Art provides youth with a global perspective, an outlet for personal expression, and allows for the development of critical thinking skills and fine motor skills, just to name a few of the benefits.  Furthermore, this cut to education is a blow to the future of South Dakota.  How can the education of our children not be our first priority? Uneducated children that will not be prepared for college will not benefit our state.  It is an embarrassment to us all.
Secondly, my future husband works for the South Dakota Humanities Council.  We are both highly educated and valued by our employers.  If these cuts occur, we will be forced to leave this state and find jobs elsewhere.  By allowing these cuts to happen, we will lose the most educated people in our state. Those that don't leave will instead be forced to apply for welfare, which only strains the state's budget further. Please, please don't allow these cuts to happen.  Children are the future, and an uneducated future is bleak.
Thank you,
Eileen Hall
MMS Art Teacher

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