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Open Forum: When did we stop caring?

When did we stop caring about our kids? When did we stop trying to make our community a better place in which to live? These are some of the questions I’ve been asking myself after listening to people. We have an opportunity as a community, to make the Brainerd/Baxter area a better place for all of us. It starts with ensuring that our children are getting a quality education with a wide variety of programs and teacher to student ratios that allow all students to learn and grow. It is no secret that a quality school district is extremely important for a community to attract new businesses, as well as doctors and other professionals. A quality school district is integral to a healthy community.

If improving our schools was going to cost hundreds of dollars per year in taxes for the average home owner, I might feel differently, but for an average home it will cost less than five dollars a month, or less than $60 per year. At that price, how can we tell our kids that we can’t afford it, how do we tell them that five dollars a month is more important to us than improving their schools, and making this a better community?

Some would make this referendum about teachers. How sad. This is not about teachers; it’s about our kids, our community, and about making our country better as well. If you have ever held a job, you probably owe your teachers a debt of thanks for the skills you learned in school.

Mark Hegstrom