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3,300 Kids in 74 Minnesota School Districts Will Enroll in Free, Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten Programs This Year

8/8/2016 9:45:08 AM

New $25 million investment secured by Governor Dayton and Lt. Governor Smith makes important step toward voluntary pre-kindergarten for all Minnesota children

Sixty percent of the 183 school districts and charter schools that applied for funding this year did not receive state aid, demonstrating significant demand for additional funding

If additional funding had been available, another 6,837 Minnesota children would have attended state-funded pre-kindergarten programs this year
 
ST. PAUL, MN – Governor Mark Dayton and Lt. Governor Tina Smith were joined today by Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius to announce that beginning this fall, 3,302 four-year-olds in 74 Minnesota school districts and charter schools will attend voluntary pre-kindergarten, free of charge. These programs will save families thousands of dollars, while preparing Minnesota’s youngest learners for success in school and life. With this pre-kindergarten investment, just over one-fifth of all Minnesota school districts will provide free, voluntary pre-kindergarten for four-year-olds in their communities.
 
Minnesota’s pre-kindergarten expansion was made possible by a new $25 million investment secured this session by Governor Dayton and Lt. Governor Smith. But additional state funding is needed to ensure all Minnesota four-year-olds gain access to free, voluntary pre-kindergarten. In total, 183 school districts and charter schools applied for pre-kindergarten funding this year. But due to a lack of funding, nearly 60 percent of those districts did not receive state aid. Had additional state funding been available, 10,139 children in those 183 districts and charter schools that applied would have been enrolled in pre-kindergarten programs this year.
 
“Minnesota schools and families want voluntary pre-kindergarten, and our children need it to succeed,” said Governor Dayton. “But without additional funding, thousands of kids will be denied the educational opportunities they need to achieve their greatest potentials. Lt. Governor Smith and I will keep fighting until every Minnesota family has the choice to send their child to preschool.”
 
Last year, Minnesota was ranked 50th in the nation for access to full-day early learning programs. According to the Annie E. Casey Kids Count Data Book, 55 percent of Minnesota’s three- and four-year-olds are not enrolled in any form of pre-kindergarten. Many Minnesota students who are enrolled in early learning programs have to pay tuition. Over 25,800 early learning scholarships funded by the Governor and Legislature over the last three years have helped reduce those costs for families. But many Minnesota families do not qualify for state-funded scholarships, and are forced to pay thousands of dollars for pre-kindergarten tuition or expensive childcare.
 
“The investment we made this session brings Minnesota closer to optional preschool for all four-year-olds, regardless of their families’ ability to pay. But we have a lot more work to do,” said Lt. Governor Tina Smith. “Access to preschool is a proven strategy for closing our state’s opportunity gap. We need to build on this investment to ensure every child gets a great start in Minnesota.”
 
For years, Minnesota has faced persistent achievement gaps. Studies have shown that early learning programs have impressive and long-lasting benefits for low-income students, including increased high school graduation and employment rates, and decreased incarceration rates. Leading researchers and economists have found that these outcomes yield long-term benefits of as much as $16 for every $1 invested in early learning programs. Most of those cost savings are in education, human services, and justice system savings, as well as increased tax revenues.
 
“We still have a lot of work ahead to address the opportunity gaps that are barriers to many of our children succeeding,” said Commissioner Cassellius. “Providing free public access to pre-kindergarten that is high quality, free of charge, and close to home is a great step in the right direction. Looking ahead we will continue building on Minnesota’s promise of an equitable and excellent education for all children and that starts with pre-kindergarten for every family that chooses it for their child.”
 
School Districts and Charter Schools Receiving State Funding
This school year, 3,302 Minnesota four-year-olds will gain access to free, voluntary pre-kindergarten. In total, 74 school districts and charter schools will receive funding, including 14 Metro Area districts, 50 Greater Minnesota districts, and 10 charter schools. The program is targeted to Minnesota school districts and charter schools that serve high numbers of low-income students and where there may be limited access to other high-quality pre-kindergarten programs. Below is a full list of this year’s pre-kindergarten funding recipients.
 
 

 

District Number

 

District Name

 

Number of Pre-K Students (Est.)

 

 

State Funding Awarded

4073

Academia Cesar Chavez Charter

40

 $356,934

4018

Achieve Language Academy

40

 $293,390

2854

Ada-Borup Public School District

40

 $198,551

241

Albert Lea Public School District

100

 $818,959

11

Anoka-Hennepin Public School District

96

 $710,172

4067

Aurora Charter School

20

 $171,902

492

Austin Public School District

50

 $283,756

162

Bagley Public School District

32

 $137,144

777

Benson Public School District

31

 $103,938

32

Blackduck Public School District

23

 $130,163

271

Bloomington Public School District

118

 $819,062

286

Brooklyn Center Public School District

85

 $667,419

191

Burnsville Public School District

116

 $827,481

836

Butterfield-Odin Public School District

15

 $87,727

852

Campbell-Tintah Public School District

6

 $45,316

4004

Cedar Riverside Community School

20

 $180,748

592

Climax Public School District

14

 $110,879

2888

Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley Public Schools

19

 $106,065

13

Columbia Heights Public School District

156

 $1,059,067

4015

Community Of Peace Academy

38

 $303,697

166

Cook County Public School District

45

 $177,656

317

Deer River Public School District

46

 $254,621

709

Duluth Public School District

66

 $408,987

4068

Excell Academy Charter

30

 $238,433

656

Faribault Public School District

18

 $109,162

698

Floodwood Public School District

15

 $81,169

14

Fridley Public School District

68

 $522,991

318

Grand Rapids Public School District

15

 $86,183

316

Greenway Public School District

35

 $244,217

402

Hendricks Public School District

12

 $84,364

330

Heron Lake-Okabe Public School District

14

 $80,396

473

Isle Public School District

15

 $85,855

36

Kelliher Public School District

15

 $117,149

306

Laporte Public School District

25

 $118,544

497

Lyle Public School District

35

 $163,770

415

Lynd Public School District

12

 $99,152

432

Mahnomen Public School District

20

 $142,752

77

Mankato Public School District

32

 $163,890

4

Mcgregor Public School District

27

 $121,060

2711

Mesabi East Public School District

30

 $132,606

1

Minneapolis Public School District

162

 $1,372,953

308

Nevis Public School District

70

 $142,580

4161

New Discoveries Montessori Academy

6

 $72,238

2215

Norman County East Public School District

16

 $105,297

622

North St. Paul-Maplewood-Oakdale Schools

76

 $455,308

118

Northland Public School District

15

 $105,228

480

Onamia Public School District

39

 $358,052

279

Osseo Public School District

229

 $1,539,803

309

Park Rapids Public School District

35

 $146,964

4097

Partnership Academy, Inc.

10

 $67,714

548

Pelican Rapids Public School District

33

 $186,260

2174

Pine River-Backus Public School District

32

 $151,550

4213

Prodeo Academy

10

 $75,307

2906

Red Lake County Central Public Schools

30

 $151,714

2884

Red Rock Central Public School District

18

 $87,094

2890

Renville Cty West Public School District

31

 $173,887

280

Richfield Public School District

126

 $825,467

196

Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan Schools

24

 $163,730

2907

Round Lake-Brewster Public Schools

50

 $249,915

6

South St. Paul Public School District

102

 $629,136

833

South Washington Public School District

24

 $118,415

742

St. Cloud Public School District

150

 $1,005,160

840

St. James Public School District

77

 $378,396

2142

St. Louis County Public School District

8

 $49,241

4029

St. Paul City School

23

$205,979

625

St. Paul Public School District

78

 $604,685

2358

Tri-County Public School District

14

 $71,923

458

Truman Public School District

20

 $99,940

2134

United South Central Public School District

35

 $205,917

2176

Warren-Alvarado-Oslo Schools

33

 $150,833

435

Waubun Public School District

40

 $254,008

2898

Westbrook-Walnut Grove Public Schools

4

 $35,330

803

Wheaton Public School District

18

 $102,240

347

Willmar Public School District

30

 $154,990


 
School Districts and Charter Schools Not Receiving State Funding
Not all districts applying for funding received state aid due to the capped appropriation of $25 million. The 109 school districts and charters listed below did not receive funds to provide pre-kindergarten. If their applications had been funded, an additional 6,837 students would have been enrolled in free pre-kindergarten programs this year. In the cases noted, the districts’ programs were only partially-funded.
 

 

District Number

 

District Name

 

Number of Pre-K Students (Est.)

 

 

Note

206

Alexandria Public School District

20

 

11

Anoka-Hennepin Public School District

32

 

261

Ashby Public School

19

 

4011

Athlos Leadership Academy

60

 

2396

Atwater Cosmos Grove City Schools

80

 

91

Barnum Public School District

28

 

542

Battle Lake Public School District

27

 

2364

Belgrade Brooten Elrosa Public Schools

35

 

31

Bemidji Area Schools

153

 

786

Bertha-Hewitt Public School District

26

 

2534

Bird Island-Olivia-Lake Lillian Schools

34

 

271

Bloomington Public Schools

168

 

2860

Blue Earth Area Public School District

60

 

314

Braham Public School District

36

 

181

Brainerd Public Schools

125

 

846

Breckenridge Public School District

37

 

801

Browns Valley Public School District

17

 

877

Buffalo Hanover Montrose Public Schools

48

 

2159

Buffalo Lake Hector Stewart Public School

30

 

191

Burnsville Public School District

36

 

852

Campbell-Tintah Public School

4

Partially funded

891

Canby Public Schools

25

 

391

Cleveland Public School District

30

 

95

Cromwell-Wright Public School District

14

 

593

Crookston Public Schools

65

 

378

Dawson-Boyd Public School District

25

 

879

Delano Public School District

14

 

22

Detroit Lakes Public School District

220

 

4198

Discovery Woods Montessori School

20

 

112

Eastern Carver County Schools

18

 

2752

Fairmont Area Schools

68

 

544

Fergus Falls Public Schools

248

 

698

Floodwood School District

5

 

601

Fosston School District

46

 

14

Fridley Public Schools

72

 

2365

Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop Schools

40

 

2859

Glencoe-Silver Lake Public School District

30

 

200

Hastings Public School District

197

 

545

Henning School District

22

 

738

Holdingford Public School District

45

 

423

Hutchinson Public School District

16

 

361

International Falls Public Schools

72

 

199

Inver Grove Heights Schools

33

 

2835

Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton ISD

44

 

717

Jordan School District

45

 

2172

Kenyon-Wanamingo Public School District

60

 

739

Kimball Public School District

50

 

2137

Kingsland Public School

59

 

2071

Lake Crystal Wellcome Memorial

51

 

390

Lake of the Woods School

22

 

2889

Lake Park Audubon Public School District

38

 

2167

Lakeview Public Schools

32

 

2397

Le Sueur-Henderson Public Schools

45

 

499

LeRoy-Ostrander Public Schools

13

 

362

Littlefork - Big Falls Schools

26

 

415

Lynd Public School

23

Partially funded

837

Madelia Public School District

32

 

2135

Maple River Public School District

70

 

441

Marshall County Central Schools

32

 

413

Marshall Public Schools

52

 

763

Medford Public School District

36

 

912

Milaca Public Schools

27

 

1

Minneapolis Public Schools

172

 

414

Minneota Public School

38

 

2769

Morris Area Schools

83

 

621

Mounds View Public School District

30

 

319

Nashwauk Keewatin Public School District

23

 

4161

New Discoveries Montessori Academy

12

 

345

New London-Spicer Public School District

10

 

88

New Ulm Public School District

70

 

553

New York Mills Public School District

45

 

507

Nicollet Public School

40

 

138

North Branch Area Public Schools

240

 

622

North St. Paul-Maplewood-Oakdale

143

 

2168

NRHEG Public Schools

64

 

279

Osseo Area Schools

51

Partially funded

761

Owatonna Public Schools

52

 

549

Perham Dent Public School District

40

 

484

Pierz Public School District

73

 

578

Pine City Public School District

60

 

477

Princeton Public School District

40

 

719

Prior-Lake Savage Area Schools

107

 

630

Red Lake Falls JA Hughes Elementary

30

 

256

Red Wing Public Schools

110

 

2897

Redwood Area School District

70

 

280

Richfield Public Schools

36

 

4064

Riverway Learning Community

10

 

281

Robbinsdale Area Schools

128

 

535

Rochester Public Schools

103

 

883

Rockford Public Schools

35

 

196

Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan

100

 

485

Royalton Public School District

60

 

139

Rush City Schools

53

 

4215

Sejong Academy

15

 

720

Shakopee Public Schools

76

 

2310

Sibley East Public School District

70

 

363

South Koochiching Rainy River Schools

27

 

6

South St. Paul Public Schools

119

 

833

South Washington County Public Schools

78

 

297

Spring Grove Public School

33

 

4029

St Paul City School

11

Partially funded

625

St Paul Public Schools

43

Partially funded

2142

St. Louis County Schools

92

 

283

St. Louis Park Public School

16

 

282

St. Anthony-New Brighton Public Schools

34

 

15

St. Francis Public School District

60

 

2170

Staples Motley Public School District

50

 

2856

Stephen-Argyle Central Public Schools

28

 

834

Stillwater Area Public Schools

30

 

486

Swanville Public School District

25

 

564

Thief River Falls Public School

15

 

2904

Tracy Area Public Schools

20

 

2125

Triton Public Schools

12

 

550

Underwood School District

39

 

487

Upsala Area Schools

25

 

818

Vernadale School District

17

 

706

Virginia Public School District

130

 

811

Wabasha-Kellogg Public School District

30

 

2155

Wadena Deer Creek Public School District

55

 

690

Warroad Public School District

61

 

829

Waseca Public Schools

10

 

111

Watertown- Mayer Public School District

53

 

435

Waubun-Ogema-White Earth Schools

3

Partially funded

284

Wayzata Public School District

136

 

2898

Westbrook Walnut Grove School District

34

Partially funded

577

Willow River Area School District

30

 

177

Windom Public School District

29

 

2609

Win-E-Mac School District

36

 

861

Winona Area Public Schools

10

 


MAP: Map of the school districts and charter schools that applied for, and/or received prekindergarten funding this year. [Link]
 
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