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Last week, a community member asked how I felt going back to school. I surprisingly paused. I told her that I looked forward to meeting my new students, but that I was nervous about our future. I’ve never said that in my 27 years of teaching in Shakopee.

When the levy failed last year, we were told about program and teacher cuts, and we are now feeling the crunch. Despite our losses, the first week was exciting as we greeted our new students!

However, a large number of high school classrooms have 35-42 students; there is no room to move, but teachers are still doing our best because we chose this profession to work with our future leaders.

I implore you to please make the choice to support Shakopee Schools on Nov. 2.

On the ballot, you’ll see two questions: #1 asks for funding to bring back programs and teachers who were cut. #2 asks for funding to lower class sizes and to make teachers’ salaries competitive in the metro area; currently, Shakopee is second to the bottom in paying teachers and we continually lose strong teachers to other districts who pay much more.

I am proud to be a Shakopee teacher and choose to live in our community because I’ve felt supported. Hopefully, you’ll vote yes to support Shakopee Schools.

I want to be able to walk into class on Nov. 3 proud that my students’ community voted to give them a stronger future.

Carmen Barbone

Shakopee

Community Editor

Mark Olson, the Chaska and Chanhassen community editor who has worked in Carver County for 20 years, makes any excuse to write about local history. In his spare time, Mark enjoys perusing old books, watching blockbusters and taking Midwest road trips.

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