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Sen. Judy Lee letter: Headline did not tell the true story

The headline in Saturday's Forum (March 26) is grossly misleading in stating that the "Senate strips teacher pay from bill." The first sentence of the article correctly states that mandates were not included in the bill, but if someone only reads...

The headline in Saturday's Forum (March 26) is grossly misleading in stating that the "Senate strips teacher pay from bill." The first sentence of the article correctly states that mandates were not included in the bill, but if someone only reads the headline, it implies that teacher pay is not included.

HB 1154 includes $32.6 million dollars more than the current biennium for K-12 education which is $7.6 million more than the House had included and $1.6 million more than what was in the governor's budget. The total funding flowing to the Department of Public Instruction in this bill and others totals $698,704,000. Yes, that is $698.7 million.

Teachers' salaries have increased a minimum of $5,800 in the past four years and legislators want to continue to support salary increases. But it is difficult for many schools with declining enrollment to pay all the bills, if 70 percent of new state money has to be dedicated to teacher salaries. What about the salaries of other school district employees? What about increases in operating costs? What if the roof leaks? Those needs must be considered, too.

The Forum's responsibility of accurately informing readers is seriously breached when bold headlines are misleading. It is also unfair to your reporters whose writing is accurate. It is important that headlines not just tempt someone to read the article, but also convey accurate information. Please be more careful about that.

Sen. Judy Lee

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R-West Fargo

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