On the Issues

Quality Education for All

We can create an education system that allows each young person to meet their fullest potential. Unfortunately, we are falling short for too many students, especially for many in our region. Research across the metropolitan area in the last number of years has shown consistent racial and socio-economic gaps in the education of our young people: only one out of every three fourth-grade children of color are achieving reading or math standards, compared to closer to two out of every three white students. The statistics are even worse for children living in poverty. And, Minnesota ranks the lowest in the nation for on-time high school graduation rates for young people of color. If racial gaps in educational attainment had been closed from 2005 to 2019, Minnesota’s GDP would have increased by $1.1 billion dollars annually.

Identified by the United Nations as one of our leading human rights, each and every child deserves a high-quality education that is aligned to our community-adopted standards, prepares them for college or career, strengthens our national workforce, gives them the tools they need to help solve society’s most vexing challenges, and to become socially responsible citizens. The primary measure of the effectiveness of our investment must be the lifetime outcomes of our students. Schools are the first, and too often the last, opportunity to close our troubling prosperity gaps. It is important that they effectively serve to undo our deliberately unjust past. Any successful education policy should focus on four critical areas to make sure we are addressing these issues effectively and educating our children capably. They are: early learning, kindergarten through twelfth grade, higher education, and the needs of students’ families.

I stand for progress in all of these areas:

  • Investing in high-quality early learning especially for our learners from low-income families. Money invested this way yields a return on investment of at least seven to one.
  • Building an equitable foundation under our children’s learning needs, such as adequate nutrition, effectively addressing special needs by fully funding the IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) and quality, affordable childcare.
  • Defending the right for families to choose the best public school that meets their children’s needs.
  • Creating a high-quality public education system that is transparent for families and held accountable to student learning and growth.
  • Increasing high school graduation rates by requiring schools to catch students early and give those who are not on track to graduate the supports they need to graduate on time
  • Increasing access to affordable workforce training for Americans whose path to full employment does not require a four-year degree
  • Making two-year colleges’ and technical schools tuition free
  • Properly funding federal requirements, like those for special education, that guarantee schools are serving children well.
  • Expanding programs to forgive student loan debt through programs like the ten-year public service loan forgiveness programs
  • Increasing teacher effectiveness and diversity by creating targeted educator loan forgiveness programs and investing in pathways to the classroom that help recruit and retain effective teachers of color.
PO Box 50024 Minneapolis, MN 55405

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