Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Stillwater: Junker Question Update

Yesterday I sent a copy of my question about "Choc" Junker to Pioneer Press education reporter Megan Boldt, via email.

The email also included a brief synopsis of "the story so far" (i.e. two months of my failed attempts to get a candid answer to my question from people in the know, and my failed attempts to get our local papers to print the question as a letter to the editor.)

Perhaps the Pioneer Press can get the voters some information on this topic. I think that the reason that our two local papers refuse to allow this story into their pages is that they are concerned about possible reprisals from influential locals. Sad, if true; why be a journalist at all if you're worried about something as pathetic as that? The money isn't that good.

Anyway, I don't think the PiPress is going to be as worried about reprisals from Stillwater locals. I just hope that they can see the news angle here and agree that the truth is worth the telling. I believe that if the PiPress asks the right questions and prints the facts, the Gazette and the Courier will feel safe enough to jump on the bandwagon. Then people will be "allowed" to talk about what's really going on these days on the School Board.

And wouldn't THAT be something?


At 9:02 AM, Anonymous Eric said...

This is only slightly on topic here, but it is in regards to school funding. I grew up here and when I was in high school, we didn't have any activity fees to deal with. We had to buy or rent our own instruments for the music programs, but that was about it. Driver's Education, sports, busing...all were free. My question: What happened to the funding that allowed activities to go from free for all to only for those that can pay?

At 11:29 AM, Anonymous TN said...

Eric, This is a tough question but I'll try to be brief. Before Ventura was Governor each district controlled much of their own money. The state kicked in a little per student. Ventura wanted to equalize the district so that the poorer districts could offer more opportunities for their kids. They capped the percentage a district could levy on property owners. Because 834 is primarily residential it affects homeowners much more than say, Edina. They have a large business base and the businesses don't have a vote per say.
Also much of the funding has been stagnant for the past 10-12 years.
A recent study that was finished by several education groups showed that the schools in MN are under-funded by a billion dollars, meaning the actual cost to provide a decent education for all the kids in the state.

Healthcare and energy costs also take money out of the classroom, which leads to fees for extra-ciricular activities to go up.

At 12:58 PM, Blogger Prendergast said...

eric and tn: why are you two determined to humiliate me by carrying on an intelligent discussion of school funding issues here? The relevant question and the thoughtful and concise answer make my own efforts to treat controversy look small and juvenile.
Having said that, I will run eric's question and tn's answer as a front page comment today. You sent it in; it's mine. Eric: are you the Eric who once wrote in to ask if readers could request specific re-runs of particular old columns of mine? If you are, I am sorry. Sometimes I don't read all the reader comments after they are off the blog's front page, so my answers are not timely.

At 1:48 PM, Anonymous Eric said...

Yes. That was me as well.

I'd still like to see the "Three Amigos" piece again...

At 2:26 AM, Anonymous Chris said...

Any word from the Pioneer Press?

Next contact: City Pages.

At 1:17 PM, Anonymous Stillwater Infidel said...

David Junker was assigned to the East Metro Integration District. The stipend is $3000 per year. That's mighty big dollars for a retired landscaper.

This is the real reason he hasn't left the board.

Integration? The man has a Black Lawn Jockey in his front yard.
This alone should be a sign that integration is not even on his radar screen.


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