A Letter To Dr. Jill Biden
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 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