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Saint Paul, Minnesota – On the heels of major education legislation that will be taken up at the State Capitol next week, Governor Dayton and DFL legislators held a “pep rally” to call for historic new investments in education. Joined by education advocates, parents, students and teachers, Governor Dayton and DFL leaders talked about their shared priorities to invest in a stronger Minnesota future by making education a top priority.
“We want to make 2013 the education session because investing in our kids will pave the way for future economic success,” said House Speaker Paul Thissen. “Minnesota has been locked in a cycle of deficits for a decade. Squaring our budget and investing in education and the middle class is the key to finally move Minnesota forward.”
Over the past decade Minnesota has experienced budget deficits in 8 out of the last 10 years. The response each year has been a “cuts and gimmicks” approach that has led to disinvestments in education. Once in the top 10 in funding, Minnesota schools have slipped to 22nd. Minnesota has seen its class sizes swell to 47th in the nation. And college tuition has nearly doubled for Minnesota students.
“As Minnesotans, we take pride in our state’s tradition of education excellence, but in recent years we have slipped,” said House Majority Leader Erin Murphy. “There is support throughout our state to renew our commitment to education at every level, and we are on the verge of making those investments a reality.”
Aiming for a course correction after a decade of disinvestment, the House and Senate are likely to take up historic education bills next week at the State Capitol. Some the features of those bills include:
“This is an exciting time to be a Minnesotan,” said Speaker Paul Thissen. “We look forward to moving ahead next week with historic legislation that will help prepare all Minnesota children for a brighter future.”
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