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Pioneer Editorial: Cheers and Jeers

Jeer: It's time to address bus formula

After several years of inequity, and numbers to bolster change, Minnesota lawmakers have yet to address fairly funding school districts' transportation costs. Districts like Bemidji, with a substantial service area, are at a disadvantage and required to find ways to offset busing costs. Last school year, Bemidji saw a $575,000 deficit, while some districts in the state pocket the difference in state aid, giving them a surplus. The funding formula is broken and needs fixing.

Cheer: Speaking up

Residents upset with Bemidji's plans to annex a portion of Bemidji Township sounded their concerns last week, convincing City Council members to go back to the drawing table and rework the annexation plan. While late in the process, the latest development is an example of democracy at work.

Cheer: Moving on

Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann dropped out of the race for president after a last-place showing in the Iowa precinct caucus. Over the course of her presidential bid, Bachmann drew support from a loud minority, claiming to be the only true conservative who could defeat President Obama in November, but failed to show the ability to compromise or work with the middle. Now the Congresswoman can focus on doing work to benefit Minnesotans rather than pursuing her ambitions.

Cheer: A new generation

The students in the Niigaane Ojibwemowin Immersion School, a K-6 school within the Bug O Nay Ge Shig School on the Leech Lake Reservation near Bena, celebrated their award for the documentary "First Speakers: Restoring the Ojibwe Language." The award is well-deserved and recognizes the efforts of a new generation of Ojibwe scholars and educators attempting to save one of Minnesota's native languages.

Cheer: Collaboration

It's worthy to note a new collaborative effort among colleges and universities in northern Minnesota, including Bemidji State University. The idea is to work together, and compete less, to offer students more variety and draw on the strengths of each individual campus. Nearly 20 campuses have formed the northern Minnesota alliance in an effort to better serve rural parts of the state.