A strong system of public schools, one which gives every student across Minnesota an equal opportunity for success, will strengthen our communities and improve the lives of children and their families.
The foundation of the system rests on well-trained teachers, adequately supported students and policymakers taking the responsibility to create the conditions in which teaching and learning succeeds.
Investing in smaller class sizes, high-quality training for educators, learning environments where students get the supports they need and competitive compensation packages are key to attracting and retaining great educators.
But Minnesota has failed to make those needed investments and now faces a critical teacher shortage, particularly in greater Minnesota and with teachers of color.
One of the biggest problems is the state’s share of funding schools hasn’t kept pace with inflation—it’s 18 percent less than 2003 in real dollars. Ninety-three percent of Minnesota’s 330 school districts receive less real per-pupil aid in 2019 than they did in 2003, according to a 2018 North Star Policy Institute report.
Minnesota also isn’t fully funding the programs and services we know help boost student success. Investing in teacher quality improves student performance. Access to counselors and other support services also helps our students so they can focus on learning.
If Minnesotans truly want to create public schools our students deserve, we must infuse a significant investment in public education so we can: