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Republicans claim they support education, yet their agenda and legislation says the opposite. The 2017-19 biennium budget has almost $13.6 billion in spending, including $4.3 billion in general fund appropriations. That's in line with general fund spending in the 2011-13 biennium but down from the $6 billion approved two years ago.

Republicans claim they have funded K-12 education when in fact spending is flat while student enrollment has increased; in other words, there is less money for each student. A closer look reveals education spending from the general fund is down 15.5 percent.

What this means in practical terms is that class size now hovers around 25 students, AP classes are canceled if a minimum class size isn't met and a national award-winning SADD program is cut. The future of our state is at risk if we are not willing to spend money to educate our children and provide them with the skills they need to be successful.

Deb Igoe, Bismarck

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