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Making College More Affordable

Posted on June 06, 2013 at 12:01 PM
Categories: Education

Governor Dayton is joined by legislators and constituents as he ceremoniously signs the omnibus higher-ed bill at the Minnesota State Capitol

Governor Dayton is joined by legislators and constituents as he ceremoniously signs the omnibus higher-ed bill at the Minnesota State Capitol 

Access to higher education is crucial to ensure that Minnesota has a competitive workforce that is prepared to fill the jobs of the future. That is why the budget enacted by Governor Dayton and the legislature makes a significant investment in college affordability and improving our state colleges and universities. By investing $250 million in higher education, with $46 million going to direct financial aid for students, the budget brings the dream of a higher education within reach for even more Minnesotans.  

A $250 Million Investment in Higher Education

» The Largest Investment in Direct Financial Aid in a Generation. State financial assistance has not kept pace with rising tuition and the other increased costs of post-secondary education. That is why the budget enacted by Governor Dayton invests an additional $46 million in the State Grant program, which will provide more than 100,000 students with financial aid.

  • Helping For More Than 100,000 Students. The budget adjusts the State Grant Program to ensure middle class students have the help they need to afford higher education. This will provide financial assistance to an additional 9,000 Minnesota students. 
  • An Average Award of $1,740 Per Student. The budget adjusts the current State Grant Program formula to better reflect all of the costs of a higher education. Between rising tuition and the costs of living associated with going to school, the current system is inadequate. On average, this budget provides each State Grant Program recipient an additional $181 per year. The average total grant through the program is $1,740 per student.  

» Freezing Tuition for College Students. This budget freezes tuition at all MNSCU and University of Minnesota campuses starting for the 2014-2015 school year.  This will continue to help put the dream of a college education within reach for Minnesota students.  


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Governor Dayton signs Historic Education Funding Bill into Law

Posted on May 22, 2013 at 12:12 PM
Categories: Budget, Education

E12_Bill_Signing.jpgGovernor Mark Dayton signed the K-12 Omnibus budget bill as Representative Erin Murphy, Speaker Paul Thissen, Representative Kathy Brynaert, and Representative Paul Marquart watched.

Today, Governor Mark Dayton was joined by legislative leaders as he signed the K-12 Omnibus budget bill – the capstone of a historic session for education in Minnesota. 

“This year, the DFL legislature has made the investments necessary to give our kids the quality education they deserve—and the quality education our future depends on.  All-day Kindergarten should have happened years ago; we’re catching up and we’re moving ahead.  This is money well spent, and I think Minnesotans will know that and believe it,” said Governor Dayton. 

This legislative session was highlighted by once in a generation investments in our schools, including our state’s first commitment to all-day kindergarten for every child.  Minnesota schools will see over $240 million in new funding thanks to the budget agreed to by the Governor and DFL leaders, including millions for early learning, testing reform and special education.  


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Budget for a Better Minnesota: Investing in the Middle Class

Posted on May 21, 2013 at 11:59 AM
Categories: Budget, Health, Jobs, Education

Governor Dayton and DFL legislative leaders at a post-session press conference

On Tuesday, Governor Dayton and DFL legislative leaders held a press conference to talk about middle class investments made in the Minnesota state budget

The budget passed by Governor Dayton and the DFL legislature puts fairness back in the system.  It strengthens Minnesota’s middle class and our economy by lowering property taxes and making investments in education and job creation to move Minnesota forward.

The budget closes the deficit for the long term and makes spending cuts and reforms.  It pays for new investments in education and job creation by asking the richest 2% of Minnesotans to pay their fair share and closing corporate tax loopholes. 

  • A Historic Investment in Education:  For the first time in its history, Minnesota will offer All-Day Kindergarten to every child in Minnesota.  We are giving thousands of children access to high-quality preschool and child care.  And we are freezing tuition for the next two years at the University of Minnesota and all MnSCU campuses and increasing student financial aid to make higher education more affordable for middle class families. With nearly a billion dollars in new money for education, this budget invests in every learner in Minnesota – from early education through higher education.  This new funding will help give our kids access to a world-class education and train the best-educated workforce in the world. This budget will also eliminate the school shift by the end of the next biennium. [ Read more ]
  • A Growing Economy that Creates Middle Class Jobs – Minnesotans need a strong economy for good jobs, living wages, and a strong middle class. That is why the Governor and the DFL legislature took bold action this session to create jobs, strengthen our infrastructure, and make our state a more competitive place to do business. The budget enacted this session invests in job creation efforts that will leverage billions of dollars in private sector investment in Minnesota’s economy, make our state a more competitive place to do business, and get tens of thousands of Minnesotans back to work.  [ Read more ]
  • Property Tax Relief for Minnesotans – Property taxes have increased by 86% statewide over the past decade, with increases falling hardest on the middle class, seniors, and small businesses. This session, we invested over $441 million in property tax relief for Minnesotans by restoring the state’s commitment to cities, counties, and school districts, and providing direct relief to homeowners and renters. [ Read more ]
  • A Fair Tax System – According to the Minnesota Department of Revenue, low-and middle-income Minnesotans pay 20% more of their income in state and local taxes than the wealthiest Minnesotans. In order to honestly resolve our state’s budget deficit, make new investments to strengthen the middle class, and invest over $441 million in property tax relief for Minnesotans, the budget enacted this session asks the wealthiest 2% of Minnesotans to pay 2% more in income taxes. With an average income of over $617,000, the richest 2% are the only Minnesotans who are asked to pay more in income taxes. [ Read more ]
  • A Fair and Balanced Budget – A decade of deep cuts, games and gimmicks have caused Minnesota to lurch from one budget crisis to the next; limiting our ability to fund education and job creation. This session, the Governor and DFL legislature put an end to roller-coaster deficits with a fair and balanced budget that puts Minnesota on sound fiscal footing and delivers investments to strengthen the middle class. [ Read more ]

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Minnesota is Among Top 10 Best Educated States

Posted on May 09, 2013 at 2:43 PM
Categories: Education


nytimes.graphic

This week, the New York Times published an article that declared Minnesota one of the top ten best educated states in the nation. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Minnesota is one of ten states with the greatest share of bachelor’s degree holders. In fact, as of 2009, 31.5 percent of Minnesotans held a bachelor’s degree and 91.5 percent were high school graduates.


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The MN College Planner Helps High School Students Prepare for College

Posted on May 01, 2013 at 12:55 PM
Categories: Education, Technology


The Minnesota Office of Higher Education recently released a new application to help Minnesota high school students  prepare for college. The MN College Planner is a web application that can be downloaded for free, providing students access to the information they need to start planning for college in a platform that is personal and familiar. It provides students with their own personal toolkit to explore college options and manage the tasks associated with preparing for and applying to college.  Students can use the mobile app to answer many financial aid questions as they are searching for schools, a task that was previously more challenging than a few quick swipes on a phone. This is an important step toward helping more Minnesota students prepare for college in a quickly growing technological society.


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Putting Minnesota’s Kids on the Path to Success

Posted on April 23, 2013 at 10:00 AM
Categories: Budget, Education

Blog-Rally_for_MN-future Minnesotans came out to the "Pep Rally for Minnesota's Future."

This weekend, Governor Dayton joined House Speaker Paul Thissen, House Majority Leader Erin Murphy and education advocates to rally for Minnesota’s future. The cafeteria at St. Paul Central High Schools was filled with Minnesotans who came out to show their support for investing in education at all levels.

Jason Bolt, a father of five daughters, spoke about the importance of providing funding for All Day Kindergarten. His youngest daughter is currently in all-day Kindergarten, his oldest a freshman in college. He sees providing funding for all-day Kindergarten as a way to close the achievement gap, noting that he can see a night and day difference between his two youngest daughters who have benefited from all-day Kindergarten to his oldest daughters who only attended half-day Kindergarten.

“I believe that every single child in Minnesota deserves the right to go to Kindergarten all day to get that educational experience that they need.” Said Bolt, adding that middle class parents should not have to pay $3,500-$4,000 a year to have their kids go to school.


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Four Minnesota Schools Recognized by U.S. Department of Education for Green Efforts

Posted on April 22, 2013 at 1:21 PM
Categories: Earth Day, Environment, Education

Blog-Four_Minnesota_Schools_RecognizedMinnesota is one of forty states with schools recognized by the U.S. Department of Education's Green Ribbon Schools. 

Today, the Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality Nancy Sutley and Acting Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency Bob Persiacepe joined U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to announce the second annual U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools award honorees. Three Minnesota schools and one Minnesota district are among the 64 schools and 14 districts from across the nation to be honored for their efforts to cut utility costs, implement smart conservation strategies and cultivate healthy and productive classrooms.

“Minnesota has a rich environmental tradition and outdoor heritage embedded in our history, and it’s fitting that our schools play a significant role in carrying on that tradition,“ said Minnesota Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius. “I’m so proud of the work these schools are doing. Not only are they teaching students to be better stewards of the earth, but they are putting those lessons into practice in their school buildings.” 

The recognized schools are: Jeffers Pond Elementary School in Prior Lake, Heritage E-STEM Middle School in West St. Paul, and the School of Environmental Studies in Apple Valley. The entire Prior Lake-Savage Area School District was recognized for their green efforts. This is the first year districts were recognized in addition to individual schools.

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Join Governor Dayton at a Pep Rally for Minnesota's Future

Posted on April 19, 2013 at 1:18 PM
Categories: Education

Join Governor Dayton at a Pep Rally for Minnesota's Future!

Join Governor Dayton, Speaker Paul Thissen, House Majority Leader Erin Murphy and education advocates this Sunday at a Pep Rally for Minnesota's Future!

Minnesotans take pride in our world-schools. But over the past decade, Minnesota has suffered from a decade of disinvestments in education.
Come show your “Minnesota pride” and lend your voice to our efforts at the State Capitol to make new investments to put Minnesota’s kids on the path to success.

WHO: Governor Mark Dayton, Speaker Paul Thissen,
Majority Leader Erin Murphy, DFL legislators and education advocates
WHAT: Invest in Education “Pep Rally”
WHEN: Sunday, April 21st at 2:30 PM
WHERE: St. Paul Central High School, Cafeteria/Commons
275 Lexington Parkway North, St. Paul, MN 55104

For more information, contact Michael Howard at Michael.howard@house.mn


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Students Share Their Stories About the Need for an Affordable Higher Education

Posted on April 03, 2013 at 8:52 AM
Categories: Education



Earlier this week, Governor Mark Dayton and U.S. Senator Al Franken sat down with students from around the metro at St. Paul College to discuss access and affordability to higher education in Minnesota.
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Governor Dayton to hold town hall meetings in Moorhead, St. Cloud

Posted on March 21, 2013 at 4:13 PM
Categories: Education, Budget

blog_duluth_mtg.jpg

Last night in Duluth, nearly 200 Minnesotans gathered at a town hall meeting hosted by Governor Mark Dayton. It was the first in a series of the Governor’s ‘Meetings with Mark’ – an effort to engage Minnesotans in personal conversations about his proposed investments in education, job creation, and improving the lives of middle-class families. Two more Meetings with Mark have been scheduled for next week in Moorhead and St. Cloud at the following times and locations:


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