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State Representative Carlos Mariani

203 State Office BuildingState Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
651-296-9714

For more information contact: Joan Nichols 651-29X-XXXX

Posted: 2007-04-17 00:00:00
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NEWS COLUMN

Creating A Gateway to A Future of Educated Leaders in Minnesota


State Rep. Carlos Mariani
News Column

Minnesota House of Representatives Contact: Joan Nichols
District 65B (651) 296-9714 (651) 296-8891
563 State Office Building, St. Paul, MN 55155 Joan.Nichols@house.mn


As an advocate of education and a legislative leader I am encouraged by the progress made during the 85th Legislative Session to secure our children's education and future prospects. Members of the House K-12 Education Finance Division unveiled a plan to allocate $919 million over the next two years as general funds for school districts and all-day every-day kindergarten.

The House K-12 Education Finance omnibus bill (HF 6) will provide schools with enough basic funding to give every child in Minnesota access to an excellent education:

∑ $919 million (9.2% increase from 2006/07 biennium to 2008/09 biennium) will allow for smaller class sizes and better student performance, and strengthens the state's commitment to adequately fund our schools.
o $441 million base funding
o $95 million for voluntary all-day Kindergarten
o $106 million special education funding
o $152 million for technology upgrades, innovation and reform
∑ In contrast, the Governor's proposed 2% and a 2% increase will leave most Minnesota schools in the red, leading to overcrowded classrooms, fewer teachers and less opportunities for our students.

The House is providing a very balanced approach to support the educational needs of Minnesota students. We need to both ensure financial stability in our schools and drive innovation and modernization of learning statewide that reflect global realities. This bill solidly funds the basic needs of K-12 education and is an important first step to deliver on its priorities to develop world-class students and nation-leading schools.

As Chair of E-12 Education I am well aware of the need for greater innovation, reform and accountability in our education system to secure the future of our children in a globally competitive world. Investing in this plan and also reforming what we're doing will allow us to make technology upgrades, changes to special education and voluntary all day kindergarten, close the achievement gap and push rigor in each of these initiatives with a cost-effective plan.

Developing the proposed Housed K-12 policies will create a gateway to a future of educated learners and leaders in Minnesota by pursuing several interconnected themes that emphasize rigor, innovation and accountability.

Recently the bill was heard before the House Ways and Means Committee. I will keep you informed as the bill proceeds through the legislative process. If we encourage the art of being inquisitive by pushing the boundaries of the acquisition of knowledge in an interactive way we will succeed in making Minnesota and its students known around the world as a place and a people that possess a quality of education to be valued and coveted.

Rep. Mariani can be contacted at (651) 296-9714, by mail at 563 State Office Building, 100 Martin Luther King Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55155 or via e-mail at rep.Carlos.Mariani@house.mn.

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