Let’s take the politics and special interest groups out of the classroom

We’re concerned about another effort to push political agendas in Minnesota classrooms.
The Friends of the Boundary Waters are now in the running for $450,000 from the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources.
These monies would be used to “connect over 11,000 students to the Boundary Waters through classroom education and wilderness canoe experiences, targeting diverse and underserved populations across Minnesota.”
If that sounds politically correct, apparently it is. Now let’s see if the politicians will approve funding for the project.
The $450,000 would be used to hire two employees who would “give presentations at schools across Minnesota to educate students (grades 6-12) about the Boundary Waters.” Monies would also go toward “scholarships to 750 diverse and underserved high-school students from across Minnesota so that they can experience a multi-day, wilderness canoe trip in the Boundary Waters.”
Given the divisiveness of the Friends group and it’s political nature, approving government funds to force feed an agenda to captive high school students just sounds wrong.
For those unfamiliar with the LCCMR, this is basically gambling monies controlled by the State of Minnesota. The recommendations go to St. Paul where they may or may not be approved.
There are several local projects included in this year’s recommendations:
• $350,000 for the City of Babbitt campground project;
• $400,000 for the Crane Lake to Vermilion Falls ATV Trail project;
• $3 million for the Mesabi Trail project including sections between Embarrass and Ely.
On July 18 the LCCMR selected 67 projects totaling $53,695,700 to recommend to the 2019 Minnesota Legislature for funding
The recommendations are the result of the LCCMR’s 2019 Request for Proposal process, in which 273 proposals requesting a total of approximately $191 million were received and considered through a competitive, multi-stage evaluation.
We’re sure there are some very worthwhile projects, including the trails and campground for our area. But we would like to see the Friends proposal removed.
Keeping politics out of the classroom needs to be a focus for our public education system. We saw this clearly when the Edina School District’s political bent caused a bill to be introduced at the last Legislative session.
The bill would have require public and charter schools to pass an “academic balance” policy prohibiting school employees from having students “express specified social or political viewpoints” for academic credit or extracurricular participation.
Some teachers assailed the legislation as an attack on their field. Yet a student testified how the environment at the Edina school was so political, “when all I want to do is be a high-schooler.”
Whether it’s Edina or Ely, let’s leave the political indoctrination out of the classroom. No CNN, no Fox News, no Friends of the Boundary Waters, just non-biased education.
Our students deserve to be free to form their own opinions on everything from politics to wilderness.