K-12 spending should be priority

This year of Minnesota’s biennial legislative session is devoted to bonding projects, and already there is competition for education resources. While the University and MnSCU will likely receive most of the money allocated for education, K-12 spending deserves to be a priority. The proposed increase in K-12 education spending supported by DFL senators is necessary to ensure that Minnesota’s educational system remains as one of the best in nation.
Ventura has stated that he will approve no more than about $450 million in new spending. Of this amount, the University is likely to receive $54 million, and MnSCU — the association of post-secondary institutions in Minnesota — is likely to receive $64.3. Sen. Lawrence Pogemiller, DFL-Minneapolis, chairman of the K-12 Education Budget Division, is one of several DFLers supporting an increase in K-12 spending, possibly as much as $100 per pupil.
Increases in K-12 spending are especially important, however, as money is needed to compensate for the expense of the large number of teachers who will soon be retiring. There is already concern that the $52 million in aid recently apportioned to hire experienced teachers will soon be depleted. Without increased spending to hire new teachers, the current teacher shortage could become an epidemic. The additional money would also be useful to reduce class sizes and improve technology in the schools.
Especially since the state is experiencing the healthiest economy in decades, improving our educational system should be a priority of any new spending. However, Gov. Ventura’s spending limit is too thrifty to accommodate any significant K-12 spending increases.
Ventura and Playboy II

The second installment of Playboy’s interview with Gov. Ventura will be available next week, but it will be significantly less controversial than the first installment. The article does not contain any new demographics that Ventura was originally unable to offend. Ventura, however, is misled about the intentions of gun-control advocates, and he accordingly misleads readers about the objectives many advocates would like to accomplish.
Ventura addresses his vague conception of “gun control” and suggests that it would be ineffective. He states that gun-control advocates are “ignorant” and that they “don’t know what they’re talking about.” They also “believe things without researching or understanding.” He further states that they wish to take “away our guns.”
Most gun-control advocates have desires similar to those of President Clinton. Eliminating the sale of “Saturday night specials,” requiring background checks for all gun purchases and requiring licenses for gun owners are very reasonable methods to guarantee freedom to bear arms while simultaneously reducing gun misuse and violence. Perhaps it is Ventura who is making decisions without ‘researching or understanding.’