Big State School Board
People often use the word “Big” disparagingly. You know: “Big Oil,” “Big Government,” etc. In fact, Tom Hanks might want to rethink his movie character’s wish to be that B-word.
In that light, it is interesting how Democrats in St. Paul propose stripping local control from local schools and parents, putting important decisions in the hands of state bureaucracy. I sit on the House Education Policy Committee and I keep hearing proposals to do so.
It’s like they are establishing a brand-new B-phrase: Big State School Board.
I oppose their movement to have politicians in St. Paul and the Department of Education make decisions that should be in the hands of our citizens at the local level.
Take, for example, the anti-bullying bill that passed the House last year and is being revived in 2014. We all agree bullying has no place in our schools. That is why districts throughout the state already have anti-bullying policies in place, tailored to their particular needs. We do not need more layers of bureaucracy in St. Paul handing down unfunded mandates.
But this bill — aka the Safe and Supportive Minnesota Schools Act — is being pushed hard by special interests even though it is unnecessary, excessive, expensive and runs contrary to good parenting practices on our schools. It is a case of bureaucrats thinking they know better than people in areas like ours.
This isn’t the only Big State School Board bill we are reviewing this session. Another one adds more recovery schools for students with substance abuse — with metro transit funding provided. Still another spends more money on ushering specific segments of our population toward college.
Yes, we should aspire to have a globally renowned school system and the world’s best workforce. Local folks know what is best for our children to help give them those opportunities.
Rep. Mark Anderson