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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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A Fair and Responsible Budget that Invests in the Middle Class

Posted on March 14, 2013 at 11:00 AM
Categories: Budget, Jobs, Education

Governor Dayton Budget Proposal

A Fair and Responsible Budget that Invests in the Middle Class

Today, Governor Dayton released a revised budget plan today that responsibly resolves the state’s budget deficit and makes crucial investments in Minnesota’s future. The Governor’s proposal focuses on improving the lives of Minnesotans by making major investments in education, job creation, and a stronger middle class.

First, Governor Dayton’s budget makes $640 million of long-overdue investments in education. The Governor’s budget would provide access to high-quality early education for 10,000 young children, fund all-day Kindergarten for 46,000 kids, and increase school funding for every district in the state. His budget would also deliver the largest increase in direct student aid in 25 years, along with needed investments in the MnSCU system and the University of Minnesota to train our workforce for the jobs of the future.

The Governor’s budget also makes needed investments in job creation. Minnesotans need a strong economy we can depend on for good jobs, living wages, and a strong middle class. That is why Governor Dayton’s budget invests $86.5 million in proven economic development initiatives that will create thousands of jobs and leverage nearly $1.5 billion in additional private investment in Minnesota’s economy.

Governor Dayton’s budget plan would also provide property tax relief to Minnesota families and businesses. His budget would increase funding for the renter’s credit, fully-fund the homeowner’s property tax refund program, and increase aid to local governments by $120 million.

These new investments are made possible by asking the wealthiest 2 percent of Minnesotans to pay their fair share in taxes and closing unfair corporate tax loopholes enjoyed by just a handful of corporations.

According to the Department of Revenue’s most recent tax incidence study, most low- and middle-income earners in Minnesota pay about 20 percent more as a share of their income in state and local taxes than the wealthiest Minnesotans.  In order to address that disparity, honestly resolve our state’s budget deficit, and make long overdue investments in education and job creation, the governor’s budget asks the wealthiest 2 percent of Minnesotans to pay their fair share of income taxes.

Finally, the governor’s budget delivers on his commitment to a Better Government for a Better Minnesota – ensuring Minnesotans get better public services for a better price. His budget delivers $5.1 billion in cost savings and reductions over four years through reform and responsible fiscal management.

For more information about Governor Dayton’s Budget for a Better Minnesota, visit http://mn.gov/governor/budget and follow the conversation on Twitter at #BetterMN.

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Budget for a Better Minnesota: Closing the Achievement Gap

Posted on March 11, 2013 at 4:16 PM
Categories: Education

Commissioner Cassellius Reads with Governor Dayton       

Commissioner Cassellius stood with educators and education advocates to discuss how strategic investments in Governor Dayton’s budget will advance current efforts to close Minnesota's achievement gaps. Despite strong test scores, Minnesota is widely recognized as having one of the largest achievement gaps in the nation. Governor Dayton took a comprehensive look at education from early childhood through postsecondary and proposed $640 million in new investments in K-12 and Higher Education.

“If we’re going to address Minnesota’s significant achievement gaps, we need bold vision and leadership, which is exactly what we see in Governor Dayton’s budget,” said Commissioner Cassellius on Monday. “The investments take a strategic approach to meeting the needs of every student, especially those who come to us needing more, and position Minnesota to aggressively close the gaps that are some of the worst in the nation.

“I’m mystified why we are ranked as low as we are because I think we do things in the education realm better than most other states and it doesn’t obviously show in this case. We’re determined to close the achievement gap,” Governor Dayton stated in an interview on MPR in early March. “It’s going to be critical that all our citizens 10, 20, 30 years from now be productive and successful if we’re going to have a vibrant economy.”


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Skip’s Story: Why Special Education Matters

Posted on March 06, 2013 at 9:11 AM
Categories: Education, Budget

Skip's StorySkip Bruber is young man with multiple disabilities, including cerebral palsy and visual impairments. Growing up, Skip received special education services from St. Paul Public Schools starting when he was two years old and continued receiving support throughout his high school career.

The special education interventions and support services Skip received allowed him to graduate from high school. He went on to attend Augsburg College, where he recently received his bachelor’s degree and graduated with a 3.0 GPA.

Skip is currently receiving additional job skills training in order to find a position in which he can put his education and advanced skills in writing to use. According to his mother Elizabeth, Skip’s access to special education services means that rather than being defined by his disabilities, he faces a bright future that is allowing him to meet his full potential and live a rich and productive life.

Helping Thousands of Minnesotans Like Skip

Every child deserves the opportunities and support to succeed in school, regardless of his or her abilities. That is why Governor Dayton’s budget would invest $125 million in special education, making significant reforms and taking important steps to fix the state’s broken special education funding formula.

Increased funding proposed in the governor’s budget plan would provide an additional $180 per student, per year, for every school district in the state. This 13%increase in special education funding would be directed to the districts that need help the most. This new investment would finally begin to address the state’s long-underfunded commitment to special education.

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Today in the Budget

Posted on February 21, 2013 at 1:24 PM
Categories: Budget, Education, Greater Minnesota

Governor Dayton and Commissioner Cassellius read to students at Northport Elementary School
Governor Dayton and Commissioner Cassellius read to students at Northport Elementary School 

Today, the Star Tribune editorial board highlighted the need to invest in early learning, citing the work of Minnesota economist Art Rolnick that shows “for every dollar invested in preschool, society receives a $17 return.” The Star Tribune praised President Obama and Governor Dayton for making early childhood education a priority. The governor’s plan would boost funding for early childhood education and all-day Kindergarten – giving our youngest learners the tools to succeed in school and life.
 
Right now, half of Minnesota children are coming to school unprepared to learn; and Minnesota’s achievement gap is one of the worst in the nation. That is why Governor Dayton’s budget would provide early childhood scholarships for 11,000 more Minnesota students. And it would provide free all-day Kindergarten for 46,000 students statewide. These investments require new revenues proposed in the governor’s tax reform plan.
 
Today, Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius is meeting with students and teachers in Austin to discuss the governor’s proposed investments in all-day Kindergarten, and to highlight the need for additional investments in our youngest learners.
 
 
In the News
 
Star Tribune Editorial
 
For too long, Minnesota’s 3- to 5-year-olds have not been high on the state funding priority list — even though most research proves the educational and societal value of strong early education.
 
But welcome momentum is building in St. Paul and Washington, and this could be a banner year for Minnesota’s youngest learners. Under proposals at both the state and federal levels, early learning could receive a much-needed funding boost that would give thousands more youngsters a shot to be better lifelong students and successful adults.
 
Under Gov. Mark Dayton’s budget plan and the supporting House education bill, preschool and kindergarten would receive an additional $84 million annually. That would fund the expansion of all-day kindergarten, preschool and scholarships for quality child care for the state’s neediest students.

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