UNHOLY ALLIANCE-and St. Cloud’s Belief It’s Better To Be Governed Than To Govern Themselves

Ron Branstner and Kathy Burkett
St. Cloud, a once conservative leaning city, is rapidly turning socialist as it continues to vote social justice, social equity warriors to elected positions. St. Cloud State University enrollment has spiraled downward nearly40% since 2010 while the Independent School District 742 academic performance is far less than stellar.   The Minnesota Department of Education released graduation rate data on August 25th, 2022.  
     - The Sauk Rapids-Rice School District’s graduation rate declined by 2.1%, going from 87.3% in 19-20 to 85.2% during the 20-21 school year.  
   - The Sartell-St. Stephen School District’s graduation rate improved to 97.5%, with 307 seniors graduating in 20-21.   
   - However, compared to its neighbors, the data shows Independent School District 742, of St. Cloud, reported a graduation rate of 69%, with 565 students getting their high school diplomas during the 2020-2021 school year.  
 These graduation rates reflect the stark and measurable differences between a conservative and progressive socialist mindset.  
  According to St. Cloud Times  
  St. Cloud Area School District 742  
Math proficiency increased 1.1% to 28% in 2022  
Reading proficiency increased 0.2% to 38.3% in 2022  
Science proficiency fell 4.1% to 26.8% in 2022  
Sartell-St. Stephen Independent School District 748  
Math proficiency fell 0.7% to 61.2% in 2022  
Reading proficiency increased 0.3% to 65.5% in 2022  
Science proficiency fell 5.7% to 51.5 in 2022
  Sauk Rapids-Rice Public Schools  
Math proficiency increased 0.9% to 43.2% in 2022  
Reading proficiency increased 2.3% to 53.5% in 2022  
Science proficiency fell 0.5% to 39.2% in 2022  
Math proficiency increased 0.6%, to 44.8% in 2022  
Reading proficiency fell 1.4% to 51.1% in 2022  
Science proficiency fell 1.8% to 41.3% in 2022  
Before the pandemic, the math proficiency was higher 12 percentage points for the state. Reading as higher by nine percentage points. Science was higher by nearly 11 points. https://www.sctimes.com/story/news/education/2022/08/25/how-st-cloud-schools-preformed-on-standardized-tests-after-covid/65416479007/  
Three likeminded conservatives ran for the ISD 742 schoolboard in efforts to balance the progressive leftist ideology of socialism. All three failed to be elected. Meanwhile, it was the conservative candidates who won three seats in Sartell. Bad decisions, based on Social Equity, has opened a flood gate of missed opportunities and an exodus of students from St. Cloud. Rather than making the much-needed changes to the board, elected were Teacher Union endorsed candidates. Unfortunately, throwing even more of your hard-earned tax dollars at the pattern of low-test scores and low graduation rates will continue. The lack luster success of the new Tech High School is a prime example of wasted tax dollars.  
  In addition, though supporting mandatory masks, closing churches, deciding which businesses were essential, thus sealing the fate of countless small businesses, the St Cloud area shockingly re-elected two far left progressives for State Representatives, both of whom supported these crushing mandates.  
  It is difficult to understand St. Cloud and how it thinks. Overwhelmingly, St Cloud supports conservatives at the national level yet, curiously, elects progressive socialists for most local offices. Disturbing is how the city council and the school board have become mirror images, where both look to be increasingly more influenced by non-elected boards and commissions rather than influenced by the citizens who elected them to office.  
  A prime example is the position of the County Commissioners.They create non-elected progressive socialist boards to do their work while rubber stamping themselves a paycheck. There is only one middle of the road conservative commissioner who, unfortunately, is resigning in a ward west of St Cloud.  
  The foundation Unite Cloud, interfaith organizations, St Cloud State, and the teacher’s unions have put a strangle hold on the citizens of St Cloud.The goal of this unholy alliance is to create a nanny state, with non-representative non-elected government. These entities vote as a block on progressive anti-social issues, through their network, utilizing messaging, events, and protests to motivate their base. They operate together as a well-organized militia. Should the citizens of St. Cloud remain complacent, these progressive socialists will continue to become stronger, increasingly tenacious, and aggressive in their quest for power. This is a prime example of democracy (mob rules), verses a republic. Unfortunately, like other major cities in Minnesota, St. Cloud is voting like it believes it is better to be governed than to govern, all while encouraged to suckle on the proverbial government teat.  
 The powerful non-elected board overseeing seven counties in the metro is the Met Council which taxes the citizens and has been given the right of eminent domain. St. Cloud has created 22 non-elected appointed commissions. These, too, are making decisions which affect your pocket and property rights, without elected representation. St Cloud threw in the towel many years ago, leaving a non-constitutional legacy for future generations of taxation without representation by relinquishing their power to the non-elected.  Thank God for Sartell and Sauk Rapids. They have maintained a barrier between themselves and this progressive socialist movement which has a strangle hold on St. Cloud. We pray they remain vigilant.  
Ron Branstner,  Kathy Burkett 

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