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Letter: Support for Wilfahrt

To the editor,

I am a teacher and parent of two graduates from the District 196 school system. I am writing to urge all parents, future parents and teachers to support Jeff Wilfahrt, candidate for house representative for District 57B (Rosemount and east Apple Valley).

Since I started teaching over 12 years ago, I have felt the impact of funding reductions and accounting shifts. I am despondent over the recent teacher trashing legislation that has been proposed. 

Class sizes for me have increased significantly. This past year, I had 35 to 36 students crammed into my science classroom.  Students learn best when given opportunities to use inquiry, but opportunities for labs and hands-on learning are limited when I have that many students at a time. 

Programs such as art, technology ed., family and consumer science, foreign languages and physical education and music have been cut. These courses are essential to young people as they learn how they can apply their academic knowledge to something that they are passionate about.

The time that I have to prepare for classes each day has been reduced. Prep time involves preparing lessons, helping students with special needs, grading assessments and parent communication. I teach 165 students per day giving me about 20 seconds per day per student to give each student individual attention. 

Jeff Wilfahrt is also a parent of successful District 196 graduates. He understands the importance of giving every child the opportunity to reach his or her full potential. He also understands that the responsibility is all of ours.  Blaming the teachers isn't a solution. And the solution is not slashing funding, increasing class sizes or cutting programs.  As Jeff states so eloquently on his website, "The kids in our district need to know we are committed to giving them the opportunity to reach their full potential...."

I urge you to research the candidates running for Minnesota House and Senate and think about how they may influence the quality of education for your children. Jeff Wilfahrt is committed to making sure that your children reach their full potential by supporting equity and reasonable funding.

Janet Rohlf,