SAINT PAUL, MN – Monday night, The Minnesota House approved the E-12 Education Bill, including significant investments in early childhood. Rep. Laurie Pryor (DFL-Minnetonka) serves as vice-chair of the Early Childhood Finance and Policy Committee and released this statement:
“Investing in our earliest learners boosts our economy by ensuring parents can work, businesses can hire, and communities can grow. Our legislation recognizes our education and early care crisis and expands methods to address our persistent opportunity gaps and ensure our children can succeed. Caring for our youngest is complex and we face many challenges, but if our budget bill becomes law, Minnesota's young learners and their families will have the tools they need to thrive now and in the future.”
The Education budget invests significantly in early care and learning, with nearly $40 million in early learning scholarships directed to the youngest and most vulnerable Minnesotans. It establishes a Great Start for All Minnesota Children Task Force to develop a plan that ensures every family has access to high-quality, affordable early care and learning - regardless of race, income, or zip code - and that their teachers and caregivers earn a living wage. The bill also directs the Children’s Cabinet to develop recommendations for transferring administration of early learning programs to a single state agency and provides grants for Tribal Nations to deliver early childhood services.