A Letter To Dr. Jill Biden

Dear Dr. Biden,
Dr. Jill BidenWe can graduate 100% of our students and you can begin today to promote the idea. Why not make it the cornerstone of your education campaign for getting Joe Biden elected president?

Because you have an interest in helping students graduate from high school, our efforts in Beltrami County to graduate 100% of our students will interest you. Having been in education for 55 years, I know that our k-12 public school system will never accomplish a goal to graduate all students unless they have wide community support. The 375 businesses and organizations that support our movement including all city councils and county commissioners indicate an interest in this seemingly impossible goal. It’s a good start.

The 100% goal is ambitious but to quote Thomas Jefferson, “If you want something you have never had, you must be willing to do something you have never done.” 

Beltrami County is  a poor county. We don’t have an abundance of millionaires like some Minnesota cities.  We have a high percentage of kids on free or reduced lunch in our schools; we have a homeless issue; we have a high percentage of kids in foster care; many people are on public assistance and we have a high percentage of Native Americans. There is one more reason why we struggle to make ends meet. Beltrami County has a drop out rate somewhere around 40%. That’s high. That’s very high. Even if it were 10%, it would still be too high.

Here’s an idea. What if 100% of that 40% completed high school? What would that do to the economic condition of our county? Think about it. I mean, seriously think about it.
Would our homeless problem be less? Would we have fewer kids on free or reduced lunch? Would we have fewer people on public assistance? Would we have fewer kids in foster care? Would we have more people entering college? Would we increase our work force? Would we have a higher tax base? Would we have more revenue for schools? Would we have fewer incarcerations? Would we have more people making better decisions thereby lowering our drug addiction rate? Would we have more dollars to invest in bold ideas. What if every county in the United States had a graduation rate goal of 100%?
So, what are we in Beltrami County and in the entire state doing to help kids stay in school? I could say we are doing a lot, but a better answer is not enough, not nearly enough. Remember the 40%.  How much more would it cost to make sure that every student stayed in school? The answer is, not a dime. How do I know this? Because you and I graduated when someone planted a seed in our brain that told us we needed to graduate and it didn’t cost anyone anything to say it over and over and over again. This is  another issue that voters would like. What if the Biden campaign took the lead to help all states adopt the goal of 100%? It’s a win-win issue.
To have that goal didn’t cost the county or the city anything and and when we do it, think of the millions and millions of dollars this county will save. If the entire United States did it, think of the billions of dollars we could save to invest in more ideas and in more people. Remember it doesn’t cost a dime to tell someone, “Remember to Graduate” and to do it again and again. If we can learn how to wash our hands and stay six feet apart in just a matter of a few weeks, why can’t we ensure that every young person has a mindset to graduate?

Here is what you could do to help: (1) Give us your support for our 100% goal in not only in Beltrami County but in the entire United States.  Consider it a bold experiment. (2) Persuade other communities and other states to have a 100% goal. (3) Help all state Departments of Education understand that in order to have zero dropouts, they must involve the entire community similar to what is being done in Beltrami County in Minnesota. The economic advantages of Project Graduate and the 100% goal are many. Remember,  there is no cost. More importantly, it’s the right thing to do for kids and, if I can be so bold, it’s right in line with what Joe Biden would do and should do. Why? He cares about people—all people.

On behalf of the advisor boards, we appreciate your consideration of our requests. Thanks for your work on helping get your husband elected. That is also a win-win goal. We can and will accomplish a graduation rate of 100%! We can do it faster with your help.

John R. Eggers

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