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Schools nearly paid off
On Monday, Governor Mark Dayton, House Speaker Paul Thissen, Management and Budget Commissioner Jim Schowalter, and Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius announced that Minnesota schools were repaid an additional $636 million at the end of the 2013 fiscal year.
Under the leadership of the DFL legislature, Minnesota has now repaid nearly $2.6 billion of the $2.8 billion that was previously borrowed from our schools.
A decade of cuts, shifts, and gimmicks caused Minnesota to lurch from one budget crisis to the next — limiting the state’s ability to fund education and job creation. This year, the legislature put an end to roller-coaster deficits with a fair and balanced budget that put Minnesota on sound fiscal footing and delivered key investments in education.
The new state budget signed into law this spring is projected to begin the next biennium with a surplus. The budget also invested over $600 million in Minnesota’s students — reversing a decade of disinvestment in education. This new funding is directed toward strategies proven to close the achievement gap, raise graduation rates, and improve student career and college readiness.
This announcement comes after news that Minnesota added 12,200 jobs in August, which means we’ve recovered all the jobs lost during the recession. It’s also less than a week after the “Forbes 2013 List of the Best States for Business” rankings listed Minnesota as 8th best in the entire country.
This kind of progress is very good news for our schools, our communities, and our economies. When you have strong schools, you have quality workers entering the workforce. When you have a quality workforce, you have families that are able to support themselves with good paying jobs. And those good paying jobs help support a healthy economy for our state.
That is what makes investments in education so critical. It means that when we made over $725 million in new investments in education this year, we’re not only investing in our students, but in our economic future as well. Funding all day kindergarten, increasing funding for schools, and freezing college tuition all help give our student the education they need to be successful. And successful students mean a successful economy.
—Rep. Andrew Falk
Page 2 of 3 - Murdock
Evil does exist
When we look at creation all about us we cannot help but marvel. This world we live in is truly a beautiful, beautiful place. Yet in the midst of this wonder another truth is also evident. This world, generally due to the brokenness of man, can be a very rough place. It has for practical purposes always been and gives every appearance of proceeding in that same vein until an intervention beyond us takes place.
Any rudimentary student of history will tell you there never was an idyllic time to live on planet earth, nor will there ever likely be. As the cartoon Popo stated, “We have met the enemy and it is us.”
People from time immemorial have voiced their ideas about creating a utopian society and yet when these ideas are put into practice by such as Mao, the death of millions is the result. It is estimated that the governments of this world have killed at least 160 million noncombatants in the 20th century alone.
Evil exists on planet earth as a serpent in the garden and will do so until it is irrevocably done away with forever and, when that happens, it will not be due to any act of man. America has done reasonably well as a nation up to this point and does not need to be “fundamentally hanged” by any utopian soialists or ivory tower academics.
The pie-in-the-sky concept of a gun-free zone has been created by the politically correct progressive as a slaughtering ground for every evil person that would do others harm.
It has reached such stages of the ridiculous that even our combat trained military is unable to possess firearms on our military bases. We trust them to defend us on the battlefields and with our utmost secrets, but not with the ability to possess their side arms for their own defense on their military bases. If they were allowed to do so the careers of the Fort Hood jihadist and the latest crazy at the Navy Yard would have been short indeed.
Evil exists and must be dealt with, and that is the sober truth. No legislation will outlaw it and no liberal gibberish will dissuade it. It may rear its ugly head at any time and any place and unfortunately there are not enough white knights to instantly ride in and save the day when that unhappy moment arrives. The idea of our trained military personnel running like sheep from a killer who materializes in a declared no gun zone on a military base is so repugnant it defies description.
Our troops are professional and have the training to defend themselves and others. Any American warrior in our armed services while on duty on their posts or around the world should clank when they walk.
Page 3 of 3 - —Doug Hodge