Governor Dayton meets with students at Winona State University to discuss Minnesota's future.
In 2013, Governor Dayton and the Minnesota Legislature made a major investment in education, from pre-school to college, and ensured that every dollar previously borrowed from our schools has been paid back in full. The Governor made historic investments in early learning, all-day Kindergarten, financial assistance for college students, and tuition freezes at state colleges and universities that will help make higher education more affordable. Ultimately, these key investments – and historic gains in academic achievement made this year by students and teachers – made 2013 a landmark year for education in Minnesota.
Repaying Debt to Minnesota Schools in Full – All of the $2.8 billion that was borrowed from Minnesota schools by previous legislatures has been repaid in full. Governor Dayton and the Legislature ensured that any additional surpluses generated by Minnesota’s growing economy would be used to immediately pay back any remaining debt to our students.
Increasing Funding for Every School in Minnesota – The Governor and Legislature invested an additional $435 million in E-12 education, including $234 million in the school funding formula, providing every school an increase in funding in each of the next two years.
Investing in Early Childhood Education – Governor Dayton and the Legislature provided an additional $44 million for early learning scholarships that will help 10,000 low- and middle-income children access high quality preschool and child care.
Providing All-Day Kindergarten for Every Child – For the first time, Minnesota will offer free all-day Kindergarten for every child. This new funding will ensure kids are on track to read well by third grade, and help thousands of families avoid out-of-pocket costs for Kindergarten.
Freezing College Tuition – The new state budget freezes tuition at all MnSCU and University of Minnesota campuses for two years, making higher education more affordable for students.
Increasing Financial Aid for College Students – Governor Dayton invested $46 million in the State Grant Program, which will provide more than 100,000 students with direct financial aid to make college more affordable. The average grant recipient will receive over $1,700 in assistance.
Turning Around Our Struggling Schools – Dramatic progress was made in 2013 for the state’s most persistently underperforming schools, including a 71 percent improvement in student performance with 20 schools achieving the highest possible rating for the third year in a row.
Making Progress in Closing the Achievement Gap – For the first time, national test results released in 2013 show that Minnesota is making significant gains in narrowing the achievement gap between white students and students of color. Fourth-grade math students in Minnesota performed the best in the nation, and reading scores showed significant achievement gap closures.
Implementing Better Tests for Better Results – The new budget eliminated ineffective K-12 exit exams and replaced them with tests that are designed to improve college and career readiness.
Getting Kids Ready for Kindergarten – A new study released this year by the Minnesota Department of Education showed 72 percent of kindergartners come to school ready to learn – a major improvement from 60 percent of Minnesota students in 2010.