I hope the short week has helped you have a smooth transition back into school for you or your family, and back to a familiar routine! Enjoy the final summer weather while it lasts - and please be attentive on the roads and look out for students going to and from school, especially in school zones! Here are some safety tips for drivers and pedestrians to be aware of.
I want to wish best of luck to all the students and staff going back to school this week!
For decades, Minnesota's financial commitment to schools has fallen short, but this year the House passed quite a few measures to support our classrooms. All of our school districts will see a two percent increase per student this year, and again next year. Though this isn't nearly enough, it should help schools avoid teacher layoffs, closures, program cuts and larger class sizes. We also protected pre-K for 4000 early learners, and addressed a shortfall in special education funding.
We can be proud of our accomplishments, but we still have a lot of work to do. School districts across our state are still being forced to make cuts and shift their deficits through referendums and property tax increases. A patchwork of funding streams is not the way to a healthier future for our children or our state.
We must do more to fully fund our schools, pay our teachers fairly, and set our students up for future success.
I hope you had a wonderful Labor Day! I learned about the importance of Unions as a child when the Union was there for my family when my dad was injured. Union membership remains high in MN but is declining in surrounding states. With unions at the table, we can build stronger communities together.
It was an honor to attend the Pine Pend Trailhead Grand Opening in Inver Grove Heights! It's the newest trailhead and trail segment of the Mississippi River Greenway.
I visited Youthprice to learn about their work to support youth, advance equity, and to eliminate racial disparities. I'm looking forward to working together.
It was an incredible honor to be selected to participate in the 25th Annual Bowhay Institute for Legislative Leadership Development. We worked hard, we were challenged and left inspired and ready to bring our best work to our states.
Thank you to those of you who stopped by the House of Representatives booth to visit and complete the nonpartisan legislative survey. Here's a breakdown of some of the poll results, and while they are not scientific, it is encouraging to see so many (over 11,000!) Minnesotans engaged and eager to share their views. There's more information from the nonpartisan House Information Office here, and from Fox9 here.
As always, let me know if you have any questions, thoughts or comments!
Rep. Ruth Richardson