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SAINT PAUL, MN – Today in the House Education Innovation Policy Committee, House Republicans voted down legislation that would guarantee pre-kindergarten education for all children in Minnesota on a party line vote of 11 to 8.
The bill, authored by House Deputy Minority Leader Erin Murphy would provide the option for all of Minnesota’s four year olds to attend all-day pre-K.
Republicans voting no on the bill include: Rep. Roz Peterson (R-Lakeville), Rep. Peggy Bennett (R-Albert Lea), Rep. Drew Christensen (R-Burnsville), Rep. Anna Wills (R-Apple Valley), Rep. Sondra Erickson (R-Princeton), Rep. Ron Kresha (R-Little Falls), Rep. Eric Lucero (R-Dayton), Rep. Bud Nornes (R-Fergus Falls), Rep. Nels Pierson (R-Rochester), Rep. Dean Urdahl (R-Grove City), and Rep. Abigail Whelan (R-Anoka).
Rep. Murphy released the following statement:
“Republicans may provide lip service on narrowing the achievement gap, but when the time comes to invest in proven strategies to help our youngest learners, they vote no.
"Minnesotans support high quality education, including pre-kindergarten. This legislation would give parents and families choices for their children, setting them on a path to success. Education and business leaders agree that investing in early learning is a critical step for our future. If we value early childhood education, then we need to make sure every family in Minnesota can participate. This isn’t just about educating children and closing the achievement gap, this is an economic issue about providing flexibility and opportunities for families of all incomes.
"It’s unfortunate that Republicans are saying no to what should be a no-brainer: investing in our youngest learners. After their recent focus on improving education by attacking teachers, this is another vote that shows where their priorities are.”
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