My first stop was the Hormel Foods Plant in Austin, Minnesota. My colleagues and I also toured the Hormel Institute and learned about the important cancer research that’s being done there.
On Thursday, I had the opportunity to speak with teachers and staff from Winona Area Public Schools. During our roundtable discussion, we focused on teacher recruitment and retention, addressing mental health needs, and funding issues.
We also held a public hearing to discuss the critical shortage of child care in Minnesota. Parents, child care providers, and business leaders talked about how this crisis has impacted them and their communities, and we discussed policies that would help meet their needs. An article about the public hearing is available here.
The mini session was part of our efforts to provide more opportunities for Minnesotans to share their experiences and participate in the legislative process. Getting out into communities throughout the state helps us connect with people and learn more about each place. It’s also an opportunity to explore the unique qualities and places that make each community special. For example, visiting the Minnesota Marine Art Museum in Winona was one of my favorite parts of mini session!
I particularly enjoyed the museum’s Underwater Dogs exhibit.
Upcoming Referendum for White Bear Lake Area Schools
More and more people are choosing to live and raise a family in our community. Our excellent schools are part of what’s drawing people to our area, but keeping up with rapid increases in enrollment has been a challenge for them. In the White Bear Lake Area School District, enrollment has increased by seven percent since 2010. Another 2,000 students are expected to enroll in the next ten years. Our schools must expand and change to meet the needs of our growing community.
On Tuesday, November 5, residents of the White Bear Lake Area School District will have the opportunity to vote on a bond referendum that would help local schools manage increasing enrollment and prepare for continued growth. If it’s approved, the referendum will help address building needs and maintenance, improve safety and security, and create flexible learning spaces. You can view a detailed list of what projects would be done at each school here.
A short video about the bond referendum is available here. Additional information is available at www.isd624.org/Bond2019.
Make Your Voice Heard
Minnesota Values Project
The Minnesota Values Project is an ongoing partnership between Minnesotans and elected officials. We’re working together to create a shared vision for the future of our state, and your input is an important part of this process! Please let us know what’s important to you, your community, and Minnesota by taking a short survey here.