I knew not investing in education in our community would have its effects, ignorance now appears to be running rampant among residents as proven by the following which was written in a Comment thread from the New Ulm Journal’s story that reported the referendum failing.
I think the reason alot of people voted no is because, from what I hear in the coffee shops is that your community is sick of paying for the extra’s the hispanic students take away from the english speaking students. Higher costs for people who are not paying taxes, need special help etc. This is just the talk at the coffee table. They also speak ill of the superintendent who thinks he should run the school in the mirror image of the school his wife is supt. at. Getting rid of the food service program and hiring Taher and this new food service director who seems to know squat, they feel he can run the school, he can find the funds to do it. Also heard around the coffee table is that your citizens are mad about developing the Snow farm acres… for what? Who with strings attached to the city needed some extra cash? I am just repeating …which I know is not always accurate but you have to listen to a group of 15 men sitting around talking…they can’t all be wrong…can they (This was copied and pasted exactly as written)
You know, I actually heard that the folks who voted NO are people who go to church regularly, they call themselves good Christians and stellar supporter of the community. They also own new homes, cool cars and lots of “toys” They have come up with the above mentioned excuses because the extra tax they may incur could cut into their “fun” And of course, they ALL send their kids to St. Mary’s……Yep, this is what I heard when I was out-and-about in the community. Hey, must be true after all, so many people saying it…?
OK, OK, OK, enough with the sarcasm…actually enough with all the inaccuracies….
Let me now offer you a lesson about our local school and community:
- First of all, what some choose to call Hispanics – I call community members – most offering the labor force and financial support necessary to prevent us from becoming a ghost town. (many of these same people, by the way, have longstanding roots in Sleepy Eye.)
- The more students in a school system, the more dollars received from the state in aid. Take away, as you call them, the Hispanic population and you take away a lot of jobs in the school which in turn deprives our community of revenue.
- Special services are offered to all students in need, including my own. It’s the law. And with some of these services, comes additional funding to the school system. And just for the record: Many students who would otherwise attend St. Mary’s School, come to Sleepy Eye School in order to get these necessary services, to help them receive the best possible education based on their needs.
- Property taxes are paid by almost everyone. And if you are a renter, you pay them indirectly, through a landlord.
- As for our superintendent….John Cselovszki has a passion for education and he wears that out on his sleeve. He definitely is enthusiastic but I promise you, he fights for what HE believes is best for the kids. One tidbit I’d like to point out….last year he trekked to Marshall on a Friday night to attend St. Mary’s State Football game. He had no reason to be there other than show his support for the community and the kids involved. That game came just days after the second attempt to pass a Sleepy Eye Schools Referendum failed. And if Mr. C would have believed all that “coffee shop” talk, he would have been led to believe that referendum didn’t pass because EVERYONE from St. Mary’s voted NO.
- Food Service: Sleepy Eye Schools, along with all other schools in the nation were forced to adopt new federal lunch program guidelines starting this year. Taher was hired because they could offer a professional service with trained chefs to manage the local school lunch program. The previous lunch staff remains intact and are now employed by Taher.
- There is no connection between the Sleepy Eye School Board / Administration and the City of Sleepy Eye Council / Administration, other than they occasionally work together for what’s best for the community. The goal with the Snow Farm property is to develop property so the community can grow; the job of the school is to develop minds which might, in fact, bring new businesses to that development.
Instead of listening to all the coffee shop talk that speculates on the reasons why the referendum hasn’t passed, I challenge those that voted NO to stand up for what you believe in. Make your statements in a public forum so the community knows where you stand and more importantly why you feel that way. Our kids deserve to know the truth as to why this district keeps saying NO to financial support for our schools.
As for the headline of this blog….well, I’m sure it won’t take long for my feelings to turn back in a positive direction….there are a lot of great things about Sleepy Eye too…and especially a lot of special people…..
This column brought to you because of the quality education I received from Sleepy Eye High School – in a time when the community actually understood and appreciated the value of a good education. And in a time when we treated every resident with the respect each deserved!!!