Gov. Mark Dayton said today that, despite the state budget problems, he still plans to deliver on his campaign promise to provide more money for education.
Outlining his education proposals, Dayton said he’s got three top priorities:
- Focus more resources on education (He didn’t say though, how much or where it’s coming from; that will come with his Feb. 15 budget proposal).
- Raise the profile of Early Childhood Education.
- Narrow achievement gaps.
Other priorities he discussed, in an appearance with Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius, include:
- Improve literacy statewide with a goal of all children reading by third grade.
- Support for high-quality teaching.
- Better testing to improve student learning with a test reduction task force.
- More support for teachers and schools from Education Department.
“Education was key to our State’s past prosperity, and it will be key to our future prosperity. An excellent public education system will be the driving force behind job creation in Minnesota. We must prepare today’s students for the jobs and the industries of the future, and thus we must make important innovations in our public school system. With this plan, we will take what is good with Minnesota’s K-12 education and make it even better, to ensure every student full opportunity to succeed in this ever more competitive global economy.”
And Cassellius added:
“The most important thing we can do as leaders is to set high expectations for ourselves and create a shared vision that inspires others to do the same. I believe it’s our shared responsibility as leaders and as stakeholders to support our teachers, principals and superintendents as they work to achieve the highest standards of excellence for all children.”
At first blush, Republicans didn’t seem impressed. Rep. Sondra Erickson, chair of the House Education Reform Committee, said: “There is nothing new.”