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Letter: Peterson off mark on education bill

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opinion Worthington, 56187
Daily Globe
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Worthington Minnesota 300 11th Street / P.O. Box 639 56187

Richard Peterson is mistaken with his interpretation of the Legislature's latest education bill and its intent to address the disparity funding gap that exists between the inner cities and rural Minnesota schools.

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He said, "Hamilton had a chance to reduce this funding disparity by voting for the 2007 education bill -- which included provisions to do that -- but he didn't." and "thankfully it passed."

When discussing the very same bill with his constituents in a newsletter, Minneapolis Representative Joe Mullery had a different take.

He bragged that he and other Minneapolis legislators were "extremely successful in getting extra funding for Minneapolis Public Schools.

They got more extra funding per pupil than any other school district.

Minneapolis Public Schools ended up with $16 million more than they expected."

Then he added that "the rest of the Legislature is upset because Minneapolis gets 46 percent more per pupil than the state average."

Mullery is right. Forget the rest of the Legislature, there shouldn't be one rural Minnesotan who isn't upset with the way rural Minnesota schools are treated in comparison to others.

I understand that Metro schools have needs; but because of the wide disparities in funding, I am not convinced that the Metro legislators understand that we have needs as well.

I welcome the opportunity to discuss education issues with Richard in a very constructive manner that will address education improvements that benefit the constituents of District 22B and the entire state.

State Rep. Rod Hamilton

Mountain Lake

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