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Massy Toward shares a smile with Minnesota senator Al Franken at Bemidji's J.W. Smith Elementary School last week. Pioneer Photo/Eric Stromgren

Franken hears from school leaders

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When U.S. Sen. Al Franken toured Bemidji's J.W. Smith Elementary School on Friday, he was impressed when he saw third-graders reading to kindergarteners in the school auditorium. Their cheerful faces made him grin from ear-to-ear.

But in a meeting with area school leaders afterward, Franken found their concerns were no laughing matter.

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