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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: How do we discern a school board candidate's level of passion for ISD 31?

The following is a letter to the editor submitted to the Bemidji Pioneer by a reader. It does not necessarily reflect the views of the Bemidji Pioneer. To submit a letter, email letters@bemidjipioneer.com or mail it to Bemidji Pioneer, P.O. Box 455, Bemidji, MN 56601.

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The Minnesota School Board Association says, “school board candidates should be passionate about public education.” We have 23 candidates from which to select three to four-year terms, and two to two-year terms. How do we discern their level of passion for ISD 31?

First, I want to know who will support and promote an operating levy — the additional funds needed to bring educational opportunities to our children on par with other districts in the state, whose communities may be wealthier than ours.

If a candidate complains about fiscal management and the need to tighten our belts, I must wonder if they really understand our fiscal plight and if they’re wishing to undermine and further hamper the public education system.

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Second, I want to know who supports the curriculum and the educators who implement it, and who understands that our curriculum is mandated by the Minnesota Department of Education.

I am concerned about candidates who may possess narrow views that only align with their non-secular values, failing to see how a broad and honest education benefits the student and society.

RELATED: Quick tips on Pioneer letter to the editor submissions

Please take the time to get informed before you vote. Attend the Bemidji Education Association candidate forum (candidates running for 4-year terms will be available from 9 to 11 a.m. and candidates running for two-year terms will be present from noon to 2 p.m.) on Saturday, Oct. 1, at the Gene Dillon Elementary gym and livestreamed on the Friends of the BEA Facebook page.

Talk to candidates and ask questions about how they view lifting every student in our public education system. Though we parents have many choices for our children’s education, our task in this election is to elect candidates who emphatically support our public, independent school district.

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The following is a letter to the editor submitted to the Bemidji Pioneer by a reader. It does not necessarily reflect the views of the Bemidji Pioneer. To submit a letter, email letters@bemidjipioneer.com or mail it to Bemidji Pioneer, P.O. Box 455, Bemidji, MN 56601.