Minnesota schools seek $1.8 billion in additional funding on Tuesday

At stake in Tuesday’s election (yes, there’s an election tomorrow): $1.8 billion in school funding. The Pioneer Press’ Christopher Magan looks at school levies throughout the state: “Minnesota voters will decide more than 100 school levies Tuesday, and nearly all of them will address one of four concerns: school building improvements, security upgrades, classroom technology or operating revenue. … Forty districts across the state are putting 51 capital levies before voters to fund about $1.8 billion worth of projects ranging from school construction to iPad purchases, the Minnesota School Boards Association says. … Altogether, it is a record year for capital levies, with 68 districts asking voters to approve 84 requests.”

Putting a human face on those eye-popping student debt stats. After last week’s report putting Minnesota as fifth in the country for student debt, the Star Tribune’s Maura Lerner talks to Minnesotans with pretty significant debt loads. It’s not all tears and regret, either: “Now, after graduating with a double major in finance and business management, [Cyndy Gavilan-Armenta ($35,000 in student loans) is] working as an accountant. ‘I make enough for my living expenses and to help out my family and pay back my loans,’ she said. … Unlike many of her peers, she admits, she’s not stressed out by $400-a-month loan payments. ‘I feel like I invested in a good career.’

Paul Wellstone as Bernie Sanders’ inspiration? In Salon, Peter Dreier makes the case: “The late Senator Paul Wellstone used to say that he represented the ‘Democratic wing of the Democratic Party.’  Since Wellstone died in a plane crash 13 years ago (October 25, 2002), other activists and politicians — from the Occupy Wall Street,  Raise the Wage, anti-Keystone pipeline, fossil fuel divestment, Moral Monday and Black Lives Matter movements to Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders — have carried on in the Wellstone tradition. … Shortly before his death, Wellstone explained why he was in the Senate: ‘I don’t represent the big oil companies, the big pharmaceuticals, or the big insurance industry. They already have great representation in Washington. It’s the rest of the people that need representation.’ ”

Low unemployment plus high holiday retail demand means wages should be going up at Target. Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal’s Mark Reilly reports, “Retailers expect to add about the same number of holiday workers as they did last year. But with unemployment much lower, some companies are sweetening their offers to find the workers they need. … That’s the takeaway from a Wall Street Journal report that looks at how retailers like Target Corp., Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Toys ‘R’ Us are coping with their busiest season in the midst of a tight labor market. Unemployment is at a seven-year low (it’s 5.2 percent nationally, under 4 percent in Minnesota and 3.3 percent in Minneapolis/St. Paul) and the number of part-time workers who want to work full-time has dropped by 1 million in the past year.” (You’ll need a Wall Street Journal subscription to read the original piece.)

In other news…

Mary Lucia will be back on the Current starting next week. [The Current]

6:30 tonight: the Pillsbury’s Best Flour sign is getting relit. [WCCO]

Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Chairwoman Karen Diver resigns to become special assistant to the president for Native American affairs. [Duluth News Tribune]

Want to serve on a state board, council or committee? Secretary of State Steve Simon wants you. [MN Secretary of State]

Twin Cities Arts Reader uses the fact that the Music Box Theatre is for sale to take an extended look at the history of the building.

Happy 126th birthday to our oily neighbors to the west! [Inforum]

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Comments (1)

  1. Submitted by Ron Gotzman on 11/02/2015 - 02:55 pm.

    Will there ever be enough money for education?

    Please vote for more money for the establishment, trickle down, union dominated, government school system. More money is needed at the top of the system so it can trickle down to the children.

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