Four years ago, lawmakers set a goal to dramatically increase the proportion of Minnesota adults who hold any sort of postsecondary educational qualification. Yet progress has been slow.
The study also shows that certain groups of Minnesotans — including people of color, the very young, the very old, and those without adequate access to health care — are disproportionately affected by pollution.
The program will rely on neighbors volunteering to work through cases, and their job isn’t to decide guilt or innocence but to humanize the criminal justice process.
Minnesota is one of about a dozen states trending in a positive direction. But the price tag is still too high for low-income students at most of the state’s two- and four-year schools.
Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle held up the four of the biggest funding areas – general and special education aid, preschool, and school safety grants – as victories, even though each made significant concessions to reach a deal.
Lawmakers dealt with education funding in two different ways. The higher-ed bill was the only finance bill to finish before the regular session ended.
House DFLers and Gov. Tim Walz propose renewing funding for 4,000 volunteer preschool slots in public school districts. Senate Republicans want to use those funds for early learning scholarships instead.
House DFL delayed the process for months while they wrangled votes, and it paid off: They voted together on a slate of candidates and filled three of the four seats with their selections.
Special education costs a lot more than what either the state or federal government has been willing to pay for it.
Democrats in the House may be aligned with Gov. Tim Walz’s administration on many environmental issues. But they have split with Walz on studying the karst and Pineland Sands regions.
DFL leaders had refused to schedule a joint convention, when all 201 legislators would elect regents, because of disagreement among caucus members about whom to elect.
Minnesota State is in the midst of a big project to upgrade its technological infrastructure. It also needs money to keep the lights on.
It’s estimated that a third of Minnesota students are now children of color, and advocates say the lack of teacher diversity impacts outcomes and contributes to achievement gaps between students of color and their white classmates.
Proposals for new education spending range from $206 million to $900 million. Here’s how the House, Senate and governor’s budgets differ on plans for school funding, student mental health, school safety and early education.
Rep. Ryan Winkler said members of the party have met numerous times and have discussed “six to 10 people that could fill the slots.” But despite attempts, they can’t get everyone on the same page.
DFL legislators believe trading state funding for a tuition freeze pressures schools to cover rising costs without shifting them to students, says House Speaker Melissa Hortman.
The state automatically allocates more money toward special education costs every year, but can’t keep up with rising costs. “It just shows the skyrocketing, escalating cost of special education,” said state Sen. Carla Nelson.
“Those who are not familiar with these statistics are often shocked to hear that students in preschool are three times more likely to be suspended than kids in K-12,” said Rep. Ruth Richardson, DFL-Mendota Heights.
Senate File 299 would require the Minnesota Department of Education to establish a five-star rating system for schools.