On the Governor’s budget unveiling Stribbers Ricardo Lopez and Patrick Condon say, “The budget, which sets Dayton’s main priorities for the next two years, would, if approved by the Legislature, amount to a nearly 20 percent increase in total state spending since he took office. That spending increase, as well as some of Dayton’s priorities, drew immediate criticism from some GOP legislators. The plan uses most of a $1 billion projected budget surplus to extend preschool to more 4-year-olds, offer child care tax credits to families, and provide free breakfast for all students up to third grade. It would also terminate a series of corporate tax loopholes.”
But all of the Governor’s education spending ideas withstanding, schools say it isn’t enough. Tim Post of MPR writes, “Dayton’s two-year budget plan doesn’t offer enough to parts of the state’s education budget, some school officials complained Tuesday. Dayton’s $42 billion budget increases funding for preschools, K-12 schools and higher education by $511 million. A $174 million increase to the state’s per-pupil funding formula amounts to a 1 percent increase in each of the next two years. But that doesn’t cover schools inflationary costs, said Scott Croonquist, executive director of the Association of Metropolitan School Districts.”
St. Paul is bailing. Riham Feshir of MPR says, “The St. Paul School District plans to drop its membership from the East Metro Integration District (EMID), according to a vote the board took in a special meeting Tuesday. In a statement released after the vote, the board cited changes EMID has implemented, including dropping Harambee and Crosswinds, as reasons for its intent to withdraw by the beginning of the next school year. EMID is a collaborative of 10 area school districts that united 20 years ago to address the educational issues resulting from dramatic demographic changes and inequities.”
A “leadership coach” has some ideas on this idea to rebrand ourselves “The North.” In a Strib commentary Dennis Brouwer writes, “My first decision had to be what to write about. It would be easy to go howling down a tangent about class warfare or the influence of money and politics in retail: spokes-Northians for the effort are Eric and Andrew Dayton. Their dad is governor; their great-great-granddad was a successful small-town banker (hey, Worthington!) who moved to the Twin Cities and started Dayton’s, which begat Target, so there’s that. Or, I could write a snarky piece about branding they didn’t choose, like ‘More than Fargo’ (meaning the city and the movie), or ‘Politically, we’re Boston’ (won’t fit on a stocking cap) or ‘Has anyone seen Ole and Lena?’ (I actually kinda like that one).”
Don’t water my McMansion, dude. MPR’s Matt Sepic reports, “The Builders Association of the Twin Cities has taken the state’s new residential fire sprinkler mandate to the courts. Saying the law is expensive and will price many buyers out of the market, the association is asking the Minnesota Court of Appeals to halt the program, which went into effect Saturday. Under the new rules, all homes that are 4,500 square feet or larger (including basements) must have fire sprinklers, a requirement the Minnesota State Fire Chiefs Association applauds.” Are people buying 4500 sq. ft. homes all that worried about “getting priced out of the market”?
And still more on shooting wolves. In the Grand Forks Herald Jonathan Knutson says, “The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ wolf specialist says his agency’s wolf management program, which was shut down after the judge’s ruling, worked successfully. ‘We had a depredation program in place that I think was pretty effective,’ Dan Stark says. ‘The wolf population continued to do well. Certainly there was no threat or immediate risk to the population’. But critics point to a recent Washington State University study, which found that killing wolves to protect livestock leads to more cattle deaths, not fewer, at least initially.”
Too bad, I liked her show. Stribber Chris Riemenschneider reports, “One of the more prominent on-air personalities at 89.3 the Current, midday host Barb Abney, was let go from the station Tuesday for reasons not made clear. The news hit social media just a couple hours after she got off the air. … ‘There’s just not much to say, sadly,’ Abney responded via email. ‘I was let go and that’s pretty much all I know. I loved that job so, so much.’”
At The Column, a LGBT site, Andy Birkey writes, “The Human Rights Campaign recently launched a new index rating the states on LGBT equality, and while Minnesota ranks well above many other states, the report notes some glaring inequities particularly on youth and transgender issues. According to the State Equality Index, Minnesota is rated as ‘solidifying equality’ along with neighboring Iowa. … Liberal bastions such as Delaware, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, and New York are also in the category. But Minnesota is behind states rated as ‘innovating equality.’ Those states are California, Colorado, Connecticut, New Jersey, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington, as well as the District of Columbia.”
Speaking of rankings, tipster Ray points us to The Huffington Post, where Harry Bradford writes anout gender pay inequity which finds us … No. 27! “If you’re a woman looking for equal pay for equal work, then you might want to steer clear of Louisiana and Wyoming. Those are two of the U.S. states with the biggest pay gaps between men and women, as seen in a new map from Expert Market, a site that helps businesses find equipment and services — though women’s pay lags significantly in every state.”
Oh and here’s another one, from last week admittedly. But hey, we’re No. 4! Via KFSN-TV in Fresno. “Is your home state filled with geniuses or boneheads? A new study has set out to discover just that, according to your borderline illiterate posts on Twitter. Quirky real estate company, Movoto, analyzed more than 500,000 tweets from across the country to determine the average grade reading level of each state. The results are laughably pathetic, with the entire United States scoring just below a 5th grade reading level. Below we’ve listed the Top and Bottom 5 states, according to Movoto’s study.
5) Maine – 5.296
4) Minnesota – 5.316
3) Massachusetts – 5.325
2) Wyoming – 5.506
1) Vermont – 5.751