We have passed the conference committee report on the Omnibus E-12 Education Finance and Policy Bill on a bipartisan vote of 78 to 56. This session has been the ‘education session,’ and our goal is to build the world’s best workforce here in Minnesota. Our framework sets the goals of closing the achievement gap, reaching a 100 percent high school graduation rate, 100 percent literacy by third grade, and 100 percent career and college readiness by graduation for Minnesota students.
The education budget makes new investments in early childhood education, including fully funding all-day, every day kindergarten and investing in early childhood learning scholarships. All-day K and early childhood education are proven tools to improve test scores, close the achievement gap, and prepare students for future academic success.
A strong education system has historically made Minnesota a leader. Unfortunately, after a decade of disinvestment in our schools, we are losing that lead and Minnesota now ranks 47th in classroom sizes in the nation. The bill increases the basic funding formula for K-12 schools by three percent over the biennium, an increase of about $156 per pupil. These funds will go a long way to improve our schools and renew our commitment to providing a world-class education to our students.
As part of building the world’s best workforce, education bill will also implement new reforms to ensure that our students are career and college ready. Schools will be required to develop strategic plans for student achievement and update the public on their status each year and the state will utilize the Minnesota Department of Education’s Regional Centers of Excellence to work with schools to reach their goals. Students will be challenged and encouraged based on their skills and goals, and a new assessment system will be implemented to help students stay on track.
These investments and reforms will update our curriculums to make sure that students are prepared for 21st century careers and higher education opportunities. We know that great schools contribute to a great economy, and we are building our economic future by investing in our students in this bill.
Please contact me directly with any questions or comments that you have regarding the education proposal. I can be reached by phone at (651) 296-4255 or by email at email@example.com.