Letter: Double down on public schools
"Our public schools serve as a community space that bring North Dakotans together for learning, growth and civic pride," writes Grant Nelson of Fargo.
I recently read a column by Bette Grande about school choice options in the state of North Dakota. As a classroom teacher, I’d like to add my perspective.
Any investment our state would make creating a voucher system would invariably lead to disinvestment from our public education system, unless the Legislature wants to continue funding public education at current levels and create an unnecessary voucher program.
Here’s why failing to invest in our public schools matters. Our public schools serve as a community space that bring North Dakotans together for learning, growth and civic pride. They are an opportunity for all partners in the process of education — parents, teachers, education support professionals, administrators, school boards, elected officials and all members of the community — to work together on behalf of students and to engage with them directly. We, the people, set the standards for curriculum, benchmarks, and expenditures by voting and paying taxes. If we do not like the decisions being made by policymakers in our public system, we have the power to replace those figures, democratically. Put simply, our schools bring us together at a time that we are woefully divided.
Public polling in North Dakota has consistently shown favorability scores for public education and public educators above 80 to 90%. I would contend that a large majority of North Dakotans think that public taxes are far better spent improving public education so all students in North Dakota have access to a quality education. It’s time to double down on public schools, a system that unites and works for all North Dakotans.
Grant Kraft is a resident of Fargo.
This letter does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Forum's editorial board nor Forum ownership.