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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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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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