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Et Cetera ...

February 18, 2012
Gary Andersen, Lee Smith , Fairmont Sentinel

Great local support

It's heartening to see that a local committee has raised $215,000 in donations or pledges for Fairmont's Ag Academy, the proposed reinstatement of an ag program and FFA?at the high school.

Businesses and individuals have stepped forward to give. The committee is trying to raise $300,000 to support a new ag program for three years. What they have accomplished already is amazing, and unlike anything else we have seen in terms of private fund-raising for the school.

It did not pass our notice that Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton this week encouraged businesses to "adopt" schools. It's nice to see Fairmont out front.

Two good candidates

We congratulate Martin County Commissioner-elect Elliot Belgard of Truman. This week, Belgard won a special election, defeating Bob Toland, 262-206.

Both men were excellent, well-respected candidates. It is great to see hopefuls like these two guys stepping forward to serve their county.

Voter turnout for the race was low, but that may change come November, when the seat is up for election once again.

Belgard will be sworn in Tuesday at the commission meeting. We wish him the best of luck.

Kudos to the teachers

Education Minnesota President Tom Dooher came to Fairmont this week to visit the local school district. He had nice things to say about the schools, and that's always good to hear.

We liked what Dooher noted about caring, involved teachers who look for ways to help students grasp concepts and apply them to real situations. Not every student can simply pick things up by reading about it, and it's great to know local teachers are going the extra mile.

Is it an inequity issue?

Where we will disagree with Dooher a bit is on his notion of inequitable funding at Minnesota schools. He wants to see a more universal formula, but we're not sure he is being realistic. Nor would it always make sense.

The state pays most of the cost for public education, but there are local referendums - for buildings or operations. If one school passes a levy and another doesn't, Dooher sees that as inequitable for students. But he doesn't leave any room for the opinion of local taxpayers, who deserve a say in how much funding their schools should get.



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