There are many goals that every Minnesotan can get behind. Our children getting a world class education is one of them. Our school system is one of the entities that impacts the lives of every single person living in Minnesota, whether you have kids in the education system or you will be relying on the Social Security their wages will one day provide. Minnesota has some of the best schools and school staff in the nation. But we can do even better. To do better, we need to strengthen our education system by ensuring it is fully funded in a way that allows schools to direct funds into programs that meet the needs of our diverse learners. Teacher prep programs, school districts, advocacy centers and service agencies should have the appropriate resources to respond to staff and student needs with efficient and effective tools and strategies, and our teachers need to be fully prepared and properly supported. The great news is that we know what works for kids…personalized learning in supportive environments, a sense of safety and belonging in schools, engaging, real world curriculum, and competency-based evaluation…now we’ve got to work to get our education system caught up!
Along with ensuring our public school systems are funded appropriately to meet the needs of learners, ensuring our youngest learners are ready for success, and addressing issues of disproportionality, we must recognize that education is not limited to a four year degree. We need to understand the impact of skilled labor and look for ways to promote apprenticeship programs and training in skilled trades as a path to high paying, viable careers for Minnesotans.