Rep. Tama Theis’s self-congratulatory commentary of Sept. 9 attempted to paint her in a positive light with regard to responsibly funding education this past legislative session. But Theis left out a few details that you should know to fairly judge her and her fellow Republicans’ performance in delivering for students. Please find those details below.
Throughout the entirety of the past legislative session, Theis:
• Voted to give schools approximately half of what they asked for. If she had gotten her way, districts like St. Cloud would have faced steep budget cuts, and students would have gone back this year to schools with significantly fewer resources, including dramatically fewer teachers, larger class sizes, and cuts to critical programs and support services.
• Voted to eliminate investments in voluntary pre-K for our youngest learners. Instead, she prioritized tax cuts for big tobacco, along with the wealthiest Minnesota heirs, and corporate special interests.
• Ignored the needs of college students and their families by voting for proposals that raise tuition and exacerbate student loan debt. Despite having a $1.8 billion surplus to work with, Theis managed to make post-high school education even more expensive over the next two years.
The fact that Theis took credit for ensuring that “every child has access to an outstanding education” is outrageous in light of her horrible voting record on education issues. That she chose to spend your tax dollars to make cigarettes more affordable — instead of education more accessible — is even worse.
Every St. Cloud area student deserves access to a quality education. In the spirit of education, I am glad to provide this information to you. I hope that St. Cloud citizens have learned the truth about Tama Theis.
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