Letter: Supporting Mike Obermueller for Congress

To the editor:

As a resident in Inver Grove Heights, I’m excited about the candidacy of Mike Obermueller for Congress in the Second Congressional District. For some years, there has been a vacuum of interest in early childhood and lower-income education in our representation in Washington, DC. The incumbent, John Kline, has been indifferent about funding early education programs to benefit the public, including lower-income families. Further, although early on he spoke in favor of federal funding for special education programs, more recently he has backed off that federal mandate, preferring instead to consider it something the federal government could commit money to “sometime in the future”.  

Mike Obermueller isn’t the one to “kick the can down the road”. Obermueller has read information from the U of M’s research chief, Art Rolnick, which shows future pay-offs from investing in early education can be far more than the cost of present investment in the programs, regardless of the family’s financial status. Moreover, Mike Obermueller believes the integrity of Congress is at stake. If Congress over a decade ago said it was interested in funding 40 percent of Special Education costs, it’s sleazy that now the funding sits at less than half that amount and there is no movement in the U.S. House to increase it.  

Local school districts have had to cast about for levies to meet the costs of educating Special Education youngsters, while Congress sat on its hands. Mike Obermueller represents a change from that procrastination. I support his good work.

Gene Martinez
Inver Grove Heights

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