A Love Letter from my Governor

Have you ever had some extra time and decided to get nostalgic by reading through old things that make you happy?

Please join me. Read this: http://www.leg.state.mn.us/archive/vetoes/2013veto_ch99.pdf

Wikipedia (obviously the ultimate source on love letters) claims that a love letter can be “anything from a shot and simple message of love to a lengthy explanation of feelings” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Love_letter). The letter I’m referencing is a short and simple message of facts and feelings that I happen to love, so I’m going to call it a love letter.

Say what you will about Teach for America’s mission or its methods. It’s irrelevant to this discussion. Though I could spend a full post critiquing TFA (as every education blogger finds it so easy to do), let’s assume for the moment that TFA is an organization that the State of Minnesota is interested in supporting, that TFA’s goals align with the interests of Minnesotans and that it runs itself in a manner which is not only non-intrusive but perhaps even beneficial to the economy and people of our state. I realize these are some hefty assumptions, but oblige me.

Regardless of how much or little we support TFA, they are indeed a well-funded organization. TFA does not need Minnesota to function, and Minnesota does not need TFA to function. As someone with many traditionally-trained teacher friends in Minnesota, I know that looking for a teaching position is far different than my current experiences in Baltimore. Fully-certified, passionate friends who are dedicated to a career in their chosen field have struggled to find positions, where in my school the classroom next door was filled with a long-term sub all year, who is also returning to sub next year. TFA may help recruit teachers for schools that are more difficult to staff, but perhaps Minnesota should consider other options to match their teachers looking for jobs with schools looking for teachers.

Dayton’s suggestion for a grant program is an excellent one. If this is something Minnesota thinks we should dedicate funds to, let’s evaluate our options and set up parameters. A grant would allow us to make requirements for how the money is spent, and it would allow other organizations (perhaps more in need of money) a chance for the funding. Also, as a former Minnesota taxpayer, it would make me feel better about the process of allocating my money.

In short, thanks Governor Dayton. It may be old news, but I still love it.

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