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Making College More Affordable

Posted on September 10, 2014 at 2:55 PM
Categories: Education, Budget

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.


Governor Dayton with Minnesota Youth

Governor Dayton Mingles with Minnesota Youth


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Freezing Tuition at Public Colleges and Universities

Posted on September 08, 2014 at 8:10 AM
Categories: Education, Greater Minnesota

Governor Dayton talks about the tuition freeze with students from Minnesota State University, Mankato

Governor Mark Dayton speaks with students from Minnesota State University, Mankato.

After nearly a decade of cuts to higher education funding, tuition skyrocketed at the University of Minnesota and Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU). From 2001 to 2014, tuition at the U of M more than doubled from $5,002 to $13,626 for state residents. Left unchecked, ever increasing tuition costs and increasing debt are a tax on the future of Minnesota students and a drag on our state’s economy.

Access to a high-quality education should be available to all Minnesotans and not just students who can afford to take on costly loans. In 2013, we froze tuition at the University of Minnesota and the MnSCU systems schools to halt the trend of double-digit cost hikes. This helped make college more affordable for 282,000 students.

Minnesotans agree that everyone who works hard in school deserves access to higher education. This tuition freeze begins to restore balance in Minnesota’s educational system. It also will help ensure our students for the future economy.


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Minnesota’s littlest learners benefiting from All-Day Kindergarten

Posted on September 04, 2014 at 10:34 AM
Categories: Education


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KEYC 12 News in Mankato reports on impact of all-day Kindergarten

As Minnesota students return to the classroom, our littlest learners are set to benefit from some big new investments. In 2013, we made a historic investment in all-day Kindergarten, ensuring every Minnesota student has access, free of charge. After a year to get ready, all Minnesota schools are now offering all-day Kindergarten to our families this fall.

This investment is sure to make a big difference for our students. All-Day Kindergarten has a proven track record of success, preparing young learners for success in school.


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Why Minnesota Families Choose College

Posted on August 30, 2014 at 11:45 AM
Categories: Education


“I’m in college because I’m doing it for me. I’m doing it for my future, my kids, years from now. I’m also doing it because my family back home wants me to succeed. So it’s about me, it’s about my future, and it’s about my family back home.”

This is just one of the many voices represented in “Shaping your Future: Why Minnesota Families Choose College.” The Minnesota Department of Education partnered with Twin Cities Public Television (tpt) to produce this series of videos about the importance of planning for career and college. College students from all over Minnesota were interviewed about their experiences growing up, the challenges they faced, how they wanted their lives to be different from their parents’ lives, and how they felt they wanted more for themselves. Their stories are featured in individual 2-3 minute videos, and there are also stories on the importance of parental support when planning for college and career. Stop by MDE’s booth at the fair to check out the videos, or watch them on our YouTube page at http://bit.ly/mndeptedtv.


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Governor Dayton Invests for Success in our Schools

Posted on August 07, 2014 at 8:00 AM
Categories: Education

Governor Dayton meeting with the Cannon Falls High School Band

Governor Dayton meeting with the Cannon Falls High School Band

With the first day of school just weeks away for many districts, Governor Mark Dayton met yesterday with nearly 300 school superintendents from across Minnesota to discuss the status of education in our state. Governor Dayton reviewed the progress Minnesota has made over the last four years to reinvest in our schools, support our students and teachers, and ensure that all children have access to a world-class education.

“When I campaigned four years ago, I talked about a better Minnesota in general,” said Governor Dayton. “In particular, with education I said that I would set aside money and increase spending in real dollars for education every year, with no excuses and no exceptions. I’m proud and pleased to say that I’ve kept that promise.”

After a decade of stagnant funding and budget cuts, Governor Dayton has reinvested in our schools. Since taking office in 2011, Governor Dayton has invested $895 million in E-12 education, paid back all the $2.8 billion previously borrowed from our schools, and frozen tuition or increased financial aid for more than 482,000 Minnesota college students and graduates. These major investments will give Minnesota students the high-quality education they need to succeed in school and life and compete in today’s global economy.


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From Infrastructure to Education, New Laws Going Into Effect in Minnesota

Posted on July 01, 2014 at 1:33 PM
Categories: Education, Economy, Reform, Human Rights, Health, Jobs

Governor Dayton Signing the Women's Economic Security Act

Governor Dayton signs the Women's Economic Security Act, one of several laws now taking effect. 

Governor Dayton is committed to improving state government – from investing in education and improving the state's infrastructure to taking steps to ensure high-quality health care. Through the work done in the 2014 legislative session, many great strides were made in keeping this promise. Here are ten of the laws and reforms signed by the Governor that are going into effect today:


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Governor Dayton Serves Breakfast to Coon Rapids Elementary Students

Posted on June 04, 2014 at 1:39 PM
Categories: Greater Minnesota, Education, Health

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Governor Dayton serving students breakfast alongside Coon Rapids staff. 

All Minnesota students should have access to a healthy meal. And thanks to a bill signed into law by Governor Mark Dayton two weeks ago, more than 125,000 students across Minnesota will have access to healthy lunches and breakfasts in school. The legislation (Chapter 312, HF3172) invested $4 million in school lunch and breakfast programs statewide. 

Today, at Morris Bye Elementary School in Coon Rapids, Governor Dayton highlighted one key component of that new law which included $569,000 for an initiative ensuring all 64,000 Minnesota kindergartners have access to a healthy breakfast, free of charge. 

“We cannot expect our students to succeed on empty stomachs , said Governor Dayton. “ Healthy meals are crucial to our students’ achievements. I thank Senator Alice Johnson, Representative Jerry Newton, Senator Jeff Hayden, and Representative Yvonne Selcer for passing this very important measure.” 

Governor Dayton was joined today at Morris Bye Elementary School by Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius, state Senator Alice Johnson, and state Representative Jerry Newton. Senator Johnson and Representative Newton authored the provision this session to ensure all kindergartners have access to a free and healthy breakfast. 

"When a child is hungry, they have a difficult time learning and concentrating in school," said Senator Johnson. "Studies show a nutritious breakfast will reduce absenteeism, help close the achievement gap and increase graduation rates. I thank Governor Dayton for his leadership on this issue." 

"I thank Governor Dayton and legislators that worked to make sure all of our kids have access to a good meal and a great start to their school day,” said Representative Newton. “We have accomplished a great deal over the past two years to improve our schools and provide Minnesota kids with a world-class education." 

In addition to providing breakfast for every kindergartner, the new law also included $3.5 million for the school lunch program. In January, Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid released a report revealing that 46 Minnesota school districts had policies that denied students access to a nutritious lunch, if those students do not have sufficient funds to pay for their meal. This new funding will help ensure 61,000 students from low-income families have access to healthy meals at lunchtime. 

“Providing our students with access to nutritious meals is a critical part in making sure they are ready to learn when they enter the classroom. A healthy meal gives students the energy and nourishment necessary to focus on their number one job: learning.” said Commissioner Cassellius. “This initiative paired with other new investments will help our schools prepare students for success in career and college.” 

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Governor Dayton's 2014 State of the State Remarks

Posted on April 30, 2014 at 9:23 PM
Categories: Jobs, Transportation, Reform, Public Safety, Lt. Gov. Prettner Solon, Greater Minnesota, Education, Economy

Governor Dayton addresses a joint convention of the Minnesota legislature at his 2014 State of the State Address

Governor Dayton addresses a joint convention of the Minnesota legislature at his 2014 State of the State Address

Remarks of Governor Mark Dayton – As prepared for delivery
State of the State Address
Wednesday, April 30, 2014

 
 
When I ran for Governor four years ago, I promised “A Better Minnesota.”  Tonight, I can report that the state of our State is better – much better -- than before.  It’s better for us, and it’s better for those who will inherit it from us.  But the economic growth and social progress we have achieved, also reminds us of the work we still have left to do.
 
Becoming a parent introduces a longer-term perspective.  We begin to consider the effects of our actions not only on our own lives, but also on lives that will extend beyond ours.
 
Becoming a grandparent, as I did a year-ago, thanks to my terrific son and wonderful daughter-in-law, Eric and Cory Dayton, who are in the gallery tonight, adds another generation to that timeline.  It also raises the stakes.
 
Somewhere down the road, my grandson and his generation will assess the state of the state we have left to them.  They will decide whether we, through our actions or inactions, made their lives better.  Let’s keep them in mind, as we choose our state’s path.  
 
In my first State of the State, three years ago, I said, “I know what we must do to create that better future for all of us. To progress, we have to invest.
 
“We have to invest in more jobs. Invest in better education.  In improved transportation.  In the health of our citizens, our communities, and our environment.  In the transformation of government services.”
 
In other words, we have to invest in growth, quality, and effectiveness.
 
 
JOBS & ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
 
Well, we invested in jobs.  Minnesota’s private sector and public sector both invested in jobs.  We are blessed with so many outstanding businesses, located everywhere in our state, operating everywhere in the world – and who, during the past three years, rediscovered that they can be successful and profitable here in Minnesota.  As a result, we have the 5th fastest growing economy in the country.
 
There are more than 2.8 million jobs in Minnesota today.  More jobs than ever before in our state’s history. 150,000 more jobs than when I became Governor three years ago.
 
This economic growth is happening all over our state.  A recent newspaper story was entitled, “Lots of jobs find a home on the prairie in southwestern Minnesota.”  It said that, for example, Jackson County reported a 5 percent increase in jobs during 2013.  The City of Jackson’s economic development coordinator is quoted saying that, “Everybody who is able to work, and willing, is probably employed.”
 
Jackson’s largest employer, AGCO, has doubled its workforce to more than 1,300.  Nearby, HitchDoc, which manufactures automotive and farm equipment for 300 customers, has grown from a dozen employees to 140.  “And I’m looking for another 30,” said the company’s owner, Brad Mohns. “I’m turning down work, because I can’t find enough employees.”
 
Some people believe there is no role for government in private sector expansion and job creation.  To see that they’re mistaken, just look around Minnesota.
 
There would not be a new stadium under construction in Minneapolis without the financial support of the City and the State of Minnesota.  7500 construction workers will have jobs building that stadium over the next couple years.  Over one-third of them will be people of color.
 
Located right next to the stadium will be a $400 million private sector development, the largest in a generation.  It will provide office space for 5000 Wells Fargo employees, residential apartments, stores and shops, a hotel, and a new, two-block public park.  Its construction will employ another 1000 Minnesotans.  And that is just the beginning of the area’s revitalization.
 


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Investing in Jobs for the Future

Posted on April 22, 2014 at 1:47 PM
Categories: Bonding, Greater Minnesota, Jobs, Education

Katie Clark Sieben, commissioner of DEED, and Larry Pogemiller, commissioner of the Office of Higher Education, visited the Moorhead campus to highlight the governor’s support for expanding and improving the college’s Transportation Center.

Katie Clark Sieben, commissioner of DEED, and Larry Pogemiller, commissioner of the Office of Higher Education, visited the Moorhead campus to highlight the governor’s support for expanding and improving the college’s Transportation Center. 

Commissioners from two Minnesota state agencies visited Moorhead to show their support for $6.54 million in bonding that Gov. Mark Dayton is recommending for Minnesota State Community and Technical College (M State). M State is a member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System.

Katie Clark Sieben, commissioner of DEED, and Larry Pogemiller, commissioner of the Office of Higher Education, visited the Moorhead campus to highlight the governor’s support for expanding and improving the college’s Transportation Center. Plans call for new and larger diesel technology labs that will accommodate modern diesel agriculture, construction and transportation equipment.

The upgraded and expanded center will enable automotive students to work on vehicles in groups of two instead of in groups of four, providing more hands-on training opportunity. Programs space focused on alternative fuels and hybrid power sources will also be created.

“The proposed improvements to the Transportation Center at M State will provide students with the up-to-date knowledge and hands-on experience they need to be successful in a rapidly changing job market,” Pogemiller said.

The Transportation Center upgrades are part of $233 million in bonding that Gov. Dayton is proposing in this legislative session for improvements at higher education institutions in Minnesota. The proposal includes funding for world-class labs and expanded classroom space at campuses around the state, including Lake Superior College in Duluth, Southeast Technical in Red Wing and Bemidji State University.

“The governor’s proposals are a wise investment that will help ensure that Minnesota keeps its competitive edge when it comes to preparing students for the jobs of tomorrow,” Commissioner Sieben said.


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Katie’s Story: College Tuition Tax Deduction

Posted on April 21, 2014 at 0:00 AM
Categories: Education, Reform, Budget

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Thanks to new tax cuts enacted by Gov. Mark Dayton and the MN legislature, the Zuzeks family are expected to save about $160 this year and another $220 on their state taxes in 2014.

Paying for college tuition can cost Minnesota students and families tens of thousands of dollars every year. But a new college tuition tax deduction signed into law by Governor Dayton will help reduce that financial burden, saving 40,000 Minnesota college students an average $140 per year.

The Zuzeks of Hastings, Minnesota, were born to be teachers.

“From a young age, I always knew I wanted to be a teacher,” said Katie Zuzek, a senior at St. Mary’s University in Winona. “And in order to realize that dream, I knew I had to go to college – there wasn’t any other option.”


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