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June 17, 2009     Indian Valley Record
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June 17, 2009
 

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Looldng {or a place to hide... A pair of Canadian geese lead their baby goslings into the reeds for a place to hide, The geese and their babies were swimming in a large drainage ditch when they became startled and swam towards the reeds for a place to hide from possible _danger, Canadian geese mate for life, (Times Photo) Badlands are regions that have been worn into steep hills and deep gullies by the action of wind, rain and floods. Badlands are com- mon in semidesert regions of the western U.S. Outcome for K,12 Education in Minnesota remains unclear ST. PAUL -- The legislative session ended with unpredictable results for public education. The Legislature passed and Governor Tim Pawlenty signed the E-12 bill, which provides for no increases in the level of state funding over the next two- years. Many public services that rely on state money fared worse than E-12, funding, experiencing reductions that will go into effect July 1st. Active, widespread advocacy from members of Education Minnesota contributed to the relative success for schools in an exceptionally tough fiscal climate. During the five months of the 2009 session, more than 10,000 members sent e-mails to their lawmakers and the governor. In all, more than 101,000 e-mails went from members of Education Minnesota to decision makers at the Capitol. After the session ended, the governor said he will use his executive powers to balance the state budget without tax increases. That will include temporarily suspending some state funding to school districts, similar to an accounting shift that would .delay state aid payments. School districts would be forced to borrow, spend reserves or both to cover obligations. As of May 24th, the Pawlenty administration had not determined how much funding might be delayed. Because the governor and the Legislature did not agree on the way to balance the state budget, as required by the state constitution, Pawlenty said, he intends to shift or cut an estimated $2.7 billion from Report finds targeted support strengthens families at risk of child maltreatment Child maltreatment reports were reduced by as much as 10 percent in some Minnesota counties where services to help troubled families with young children were increased, according to a recent evaluation of a pilot project developed by the Minnesota Department of Human Services. The HYPERLINK "http://edocs~dhs.state.mn.us/If server/Legacy/DHS-5798- ENG" Minnesota Parent Support Outreach Program Evaluation Final Report, produced by the Institute of Applied Research, looks at the three-year initiative launched in 2005 by DHS and piloted in 38 Minnesota counties. "The study confirms what we have long believed -- that prevention does work," said Chuck Johnson, assistant commissioner of the department's Children and Family Services. The Parent Support Outreach Program is a voluntary early intervention program that provides short- term help for troubled families with children under age 10. Between 2005 and 2008, more than 4,000 families accepted additional supportive services though the program. About two-thirds of the calls to county child protection services reporting child maltreatment concerns do not warrant a formal investigation or response. However, many of these "screened out" reports involve families under significant stressors - extreme poverty, substance abuse, unemployment - that often lead to child maltreatment. The study found that families accessing the Parent Support Outreach Program help for self- identified risk factors did better than families who had the same risk factors but declined assistance or did not receive help for the problem. The evaluation also found that most participant families felt they had been helped by the program. Eighty percent of family caregivers told researchers they felt better able to take care of their children than they did the previous year. Most-a~6 s-a~d they were adequately assisted and served by county social workers, who were generally regarded as friendly, supportive and knowledgeable. Funds provided in part by The McKnight Foundation were used by counties to pay for basic household needs, mental health services, medical care, child care, as well as rent payments, . emergency food, transportation, car repair, . employment help, legal services or other needs. Hiding from danger... This Canadian goose with young goslings close by was alerted of danger as it sat motionless in a corn field in order to keep its young goslings who were with the other parent safe, When geese are with young they will hide and remain motionless until danger has passed, (Times Photo) The Ivanhoe Times-Thursday, June 18, 2009-Page 7 spending before the biennium begins July 1st. The overall deficit partly, closed, was projected at $4.6 billion, an unprecedented amount. In practical terms, the flat funding for schools means inflation-adjusted reductions. An Education Minnesota analysis using a sample of 20 school districts projects declines of 16 percent to 18 percent in the real value of general education revenue over four years. The analysis controls for declining enrollment but does not factor in any revenue shifts. Higher education funding was cut in the appropriations process by one percent, and Pawlenty made additional line- item vetoes in higher education programs. He indicated that higher education would be a target for further cuts as he "unallots", or unilaterally reduces spending. Pawlenty also used his line- item veto on several renovation and construction projects for Minnesota State Colleges and Universities. They were: $11 million for a Health and Science Center addition at Lake Superior Community and Technical College; $5.25 million for carpentry and industrial mechanical technology shops at Mesabi Range Community and Technical College; $5.7 million for a Metropolitan State University Smart Classroom Center; $13.3 million for a North Hennepin Community College for Business and Technology; and $3.625 million for systemwide classroom renovations. The outcomes on other Education Minnesota legislative priorities were mixed. Education Minnesota's statewide health insurance bill was sent to the Senate floor on May 18th, where it remains active and ready for consideration without amendment when the Legislature reconvenes February 4th, 2010. The decision not to take statewide health to final passage this year was based on a certain veto by the governor. By retaining the bill in its current satisfactory form, rather than start from scratch again after a veto,-the statewide health proposal will not be subject to redrafting and the arduous committee processes. This year's effort to enact pensions equity for teachers died at the end of.the session. The pension equity provision was stripped from the overall pension bill in the House Rules Committee, which feared the governor would veto the whole bill because of the provision on teacher pensions. The standoff between the DFL legislative majority and the Republtcan governor over how to overcome a projected budget deficit lays out the political landscape for 2010, when Minnesota voters will select all constitutional orliters and all members of the Legislature, along with a new governor. Since this article was published in the June 2009 edition of Minnesota Educator, a publication for the members of Education Minnesota, Governor Pawlenty has come out and said that he will not be running for Governor in the 2010 election. The Legislature passed a budget-balancing tax bill for the second time in the last minutes of the session, May 18th. Because it made tax increases, Pawlenty again rejected the DFL's formula of spending cuts, shifts and tax increases as part of the solution. Editors Note: This article was reprinted from the June 2009 issue of Minnesota Educator, a publication for the members of Education Minnesota. Once you have traveled, the voyage never ends, but is played out over and over again in the quietest chambers. The mind can never break off from the journey. --Pat Conroy Of all crops planted annually in the U.S., cotton has the longest growing season. Its growing season lasts from 150 to 180 days. Lincoln County Hazard Mitigation Open House Thursday, June 25th, 1:30 p.m. Ivanhoe Community Center How can we be better prepared for disasters? Severe Storms, Tomado, Ag & Public Health Emergencies For more information, contact Norm VanOverbeke, Lincoln County Emergency Management at (507) 694-1552 John Shepard, Southwest Regional Development Commission at (507) 836-8547 x103, jshepard@swrdc.org .Ivanoe Pool Swimming Lessons Session One is Monday, June 15th thru Friday June 26th Session Two is Monday July 6th thru Friday, July 17th Student cost iS Sl 5 for Ivanhoe students, other costs listed below. Lessons Offered" American Red Cross Toddler (2 - 4 years olds, parent with child) American Red Cross Level 1 -Level 6 Community Water Safety - Dates & Fees to be determined Life guarding (15 years old) - Dates & Fees to be determined Girls Competitive Swim Team (Sponsored by Girl Scouts) - Call if interested Adult Lesson- Dates & Fees to be determined (Call if interested) Cost for lessons: $15, Ivanhoe. Other children (staying with grandparents) or friends that attend Lincoln HI who wish to take lessons, the cost is $22. If you need to register your child for swimming lessons, please do so as soon as possible. We will need the level your child will be in, their age, any medical concerns, and your. phone number and address. All registrations should be in as soon as possible. If you have any questions please call Katie Krier, Ivanhoe Swimming Pool Manager at (507) 694-1163. Thank you.