Education

 

As a teacher, I know that the Minnesota Public School system funding is unjust and unfair. The zip code where a child lives should not determine their value to the state. I will fight this immoral funding formula disparity between zip codes as they only create uncertainty for district operations. School funding formulas should be simplified and state mandates reduced. Local school boards and parents should be empowered

 

The Federal Government does not pay its fair share of Special Education mandates. I will continuously lobby our Minnesota US Senators and Representatives to uphold their duty related to federal mandates.

 

Lower class sizes will lead to successfully closing the opportunity gap and raise state test scores. With current actual class sizes often exceeding thirty students, teachers struggle to meet every student’s educational needs. Because of this, many students get lost in the system. These are our most at-risk students. In order to fix this problem, teachers need more time to develop relationships with their students and that happens with lower class sizes.

 

Lastly, we all want great schools and prosperous communities. However, neither can exist with the shortage of qualified teachers already taking place. I have been teaching math, a high need area in education. I will push to repeal legislative red tape that has teachers completing paperwork instead of developing relationships with students. I am committed to pursuing legislation that will encourage quality candidates to enter the education field and encourage teachers to refine their craft or obtain a higher degree.

 

Through lower class sizes and less educational bureaucracy, will we be able to effectively promote equity and close the opportunity gap.

Health Care

 

As every educator knows, ONE SIZE DOES NOT FIT ALL. Minnesotans need health care tailored to their individual needs and a funding system that reflects that value. We don’t want to be forced into one size fits all health insurance that doesn’t meet everyone’s needs. “Medicare for All” is one size fits all model that will take away quality insurance from Minnesotans that are satisfied with their current plan. Minnesotans prefer low cost care with many choices, instead of being denied care by a state run insurance company intent on minimizing cost. If Minnesota becomes the only state with “free” health care provided by the state government, non-working, non-Minnesotans would be encouraged to move here to take advantage of this system.

 

 

Instead, Minnesota should ease politically driven insurance mandates and allow Minnesotans to select the care they want for the plan and price that they choose. I am fully in support of making sure people with pre-existing conditions get the care they need. Everyone deserves quality health care with dignity. People should not be force fed generic insurance plans by a bewildering government website. Alternatively, Minnesota already often helps with the extra costs which occur for people with pre-existing conditions. Working together, we can solve this.

Human Services

 

The Legislative Auditor has found rampant waste, fraud and abuse of tax dollars in human services on a regular basis. Our legislature has refused to confront the many millions of dollars of fraud and waste being uncovered. These include daycare subsidy abuse, contract misuse of funds and gross misappropriations with zero accountability.

 

Regardless of your political philosophy, we need a diligent lawmaker who cares about every single dollar we send to the State Capitol. This waste could be better directed to education, higher education, transportation, on other human services needs or returned to the taxpayer. I am committed to rooting out the outrageous waste of tax dollars in human services

Public Safety

 

I support a common sense approach to law enforcement: the primary responsibility of government is to ensure the safety of all its citizens.  We cannot live in a society that looks the other way when riots break out, property is destroyed and government officials lack the courage to lead.  

 

The government’s duty is also to respect the individual rights of each and every Minnesotan.  Gaining trust is important for all communities.  I will advocate for further education of incarcerated individuals.  Also, it is our moral duty to assess and compassionately provide people with mental health resources.  Lastly, I believe in the importance of further research into other alternative mental health resources.

 

We need to be thoughtful, bipartisan and reform minded when it comes to changing how law enforcement operates.  All public employees, including police officers should be held accountable for their actions.

 

Represent You

 

Turn the district Red?  Keep the district Blue?... Make the district YOU!!

 

Recent election cycles have been nastily partisan. The fallout has been catastrophic. Family members are no longer speaking. Community members and leaders unfriend each other, and refuse to communicate. Too many judge and condemn others for party affiliation. I truly believe in this community, there is more that unites us than divides us. As a former (DFL) Minneapolis city councilman once told me, “One party rule on the left or the right is a terrible thing. Without balance one part of the population tramples over the other.”  Let’s add civility, too.

 

As your State Senator, I promise to work with anyone, regardless of party affiliation to better this community and better Minnesota. Personal insults, temper tantrums and ultra-partisan behavior is unacceptable, whether it be from a State Senator or the President. I will conduct myself in a way that makes you proud, not that makes you cringe.

 

Let’s consider returning the legislature to non-partisan. Back then, Minnesota rarely had special sessions, government shutdowns and ultra-partisan warriors dominating discourse at the Capitol. Lawmakers were elected only on their name and without party designation, like city council members. Instead of civic minded public servants representing us, we ended up with severe partisans that refuse to address real problems

©2019 - Prepared and paid for by Ben Schwanke for Senate Campaign Committee.