fbpx

Latest Posts

Home

Facebook

Twitter

Search
About

MN Legislature is missing an opportunity to support kids

With the Minnesota Legislature’s special session set to adjourn tomorrow, Friday, efforts to make meaningful progress on reform proposals continue.

But one proposal aimed at addressing and eliminating education inequities that plague our state has unfortunately, it appears, been tabled.

S.F. No. 13 authored by Senator Roger Chamberlain would provide a tax credit for donations to fund K-12 Equity and Opportunity scholarships. Low- and middle-income families would be able to use these scholarships to access a range of K-12 school options, including public schools or school districts in Minnesota serving 30 percent or more of low-income students. Transportation scholarships would be available, as well, to help transport students to the desired school. Receipt of a scholarship would not affect a student’s eligibility for special education services.

The tax-credit scholarships would be funded through private contributions made to non-profit scholarship granting organizations with 501(c)(3) status that have been approved by the Minnesota Department of Revenue. Contributions to the qualified organizations would be eligible for a 70 percent state tax credit up to certain limits. Eligibility for the scholarships would be income-based, but the scholarships would also be available to students in special education programs.

The bill requires the participating schools to administer the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (state tests in reading, mathematics, and science) or a norm-referenced test. The schools must also annually report student performance on the tests on the school’s website.

Governor Walz has pledged to plug gaps in education and address the discrepancies in academic achievement. But this vision is not possible until more Minnesota students have access to a quality education. Nearly two-thirds of Minnesotans have said they support opportunity scholarships, and it is time for our state to take this great step forward in creating more educational opportunities for our next generation of leaders.

Over 20 states—including our neighbors Iowa, South Dakota and Wisconsin— are providing similar scholarships to thousands of families. For years Minnesota has needed new strategies to better serve our students most in need of new opportunities.

The coronavirus pandemic has confirmed there are glaringly obvious gaps and inequities in different forms in our education system. Because one size doesn’t fit all in education, policymakers have the opportunity to address these disparities and shake up the status quo instead of simply rushing to restore it. These scholarships are a good starting point.

Comments

Subscribe

Categories

Upcoming Events

  • Morning in Minnesota: St. Cloud

    Location: St. Cloud

    Sign up HERE! Courtyard by Marriott St. Cloud 404 West Saint Germain Street St. Cloud, MN, 56301 Please join Center of the American Experiment on Tuesday, July 21 for breakfast with Center policy fellow and education expert Catrin Wigfall as she explains K-12 education in the state and its persistent disparities despite decades of increased spending. Following her presentation, Catrin will lead a Q&A session. 7:30 AM Check In and Breakfast 8:00 AM Presentation 9:00 AM Conclude   Catrin Wigfall is a Policy Fellow at Center of the American Experiment. She is also the director of EducatedTeachersMN and EmployeeFreedomMN. Catrin’s…

    Register Now
  • Kristi Noem: The Courage to Reject a Shutdown

    Location: Online

    Sign up HERE! Join us Wednesday, July 8th for an interview with South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem over Zoom. In response to COVID-19, Noem defied the norm of a statewide shutdown and let South Dakotans choose for themselves what safety precautions to take. Tune in to this live online event to hear how Governor Noem preserved her state’s economy while still keeping citizens safe. Wednesday, July 8th at Noon CT Sign up HERE!  

    Register Now
  • Morning in Minnesota: Marshall

    Location: Marshall Golf Club

      Sign up for this event HERE! Please join Center of the American Experiment on Thursday, July 16 at Marshall Golf Club for a breakfast with Center economist, John Phelan, as he discusses Minnesota’s economic future. Following his presentation, John will lead a Q&A session. 7:30 AM Check In and Breakfast 8:00 AM Presentation 9:00 AM Conclude John Phelan is a graduate of Birkbeck College, University of London, where he earned a BSc in Economics, and of the London School of Economics where he earned an MSc. He worked in finance for ten years before becoming a professional economist. He…

    Register Now