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“Public Support Climbs for . . . Charter Schools and Universal Vouchers”

Because of causes I can safely guess, national polling last year showed weaker support for various types of school choice than had been the case.  This included charter schools (which emphatically are public schools) along with policies that enable generally lower-income parents to send their son or daughter to an independent school if it looks to be a strong fit for their child. My “safely guessing” has something to do with shiploads of ridiculous and simply wrong things candidates and others on the left, especially teacher union officials, said and wrote about parental choice during the 2016 election cycle.   But according...

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Survey Says: Majority of Public Sector Union Members See Janus Ruling as ‘Positive’

It has been nearly two months to the day since the U.S. Supreme Court decided to give all public employees a voice and choice when it comes to union membership. Prior to the ruling, awareness of the Janus v. AFSCME case was quite low. But a new survey of government union members shows post-Janus knowledge of the Supreme Court ruling is high, and many think the ruling is a positive development....

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Teachers and ESPs have a Narrow Seven -Day Window to Resign from Education Minnesota: September 24-30

In most cases, the terms for resigning from the union are usually based on the anniversary date of when you signed the card. This means that the date to resign is unique to the individual employee. But for the 66,000 licensed K-12 teachers and 7,400 ESPs (para-professionals, payroll clerks and lunch room helpers) who signed an Education Minnesota union card, there is a very narrow seven-day window to resign that runs between September 24 and September 30. ...

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Failed education ideas about to transform Twin Cities region

On July 25, the Minnesota Supreme Court issued a ruling with the potential to transform K-12 education in the Twin Cities region for decades to come. The court decided that Cruz-Guzman v. State of Minnesota—a case in which plaintiffs seek court-ordered metro-wide racial balancing in the Twin Cities’ region’s public schools—can go forward. Plaintiffs will now return to district court. There they will demand a comprehensive, legislatively mandated plan to distribute students—including those in suburban districts and charter schools—into schools across the metro area on the basis of their race and socio-economic status. The remedy plaintiffs seek will likely cost taxpayers enormous sums...

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Pensions are under pressure, but unions misplace the blame

Minnesota’s unfunded public pension obligations are not a new problem. But reform is difficult when government unions turn a blind eye to shortchanged pension funds and oppose necessary steps to fix the broken system. Several of the state’s public sector unions—including Education Minnesota, SEIU, and AFSCME Council 5—retweeted a cartoon about pensions with a perilous message about the state of defined benefit plans. The unions are scaring their members into thinking pensions will disappear because of the Supreme Court’s recent ruling on Janus v. AFSCME, conveniently excluding the fact that Minnesota has had pension liabilities each year for almost a...

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Urban Minority Students Aren’t Getting the Education They Need

In 1970, Minnesota was among the states with the least income inequality. Black household median income was competitive with white households, and Hispanic incomes were nearly identical to white households. Since then, the racial wage gap has increased significantly despite remaining mostly unchanged in the rest of the country. Why are black and Hispanic families so much worse off in Minnesota? The answer is likely the result of several variables. Immigration patterns, language barriers, and skill deficiencies may all contribute to Minnesota’s growing income gap. One important factor, however, is the education system....

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Taxpayers to Get Squeezed After Minneapolis School District Mismanages Their Budget, Again…

The Minneapolis School District can't seem to get their act together. The district overspent by $21.6 million last year, now the school district is seeking to raise property taxes by $18 million in a referendum on the ballot this fall. If you live in Minneapolis, you can see what these additional levies will cost you by clicking here. The Minneapolis School District has been badly mismanaged. According to a Star Tribune article from last year, auditors highlighted seven areas of financial missteps, including problems in budgeting, payroll and approval of district purchasing cards. "Some employees remained on payroll after they left the district...

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Evidence suggests that moving away from seniority pay improves teacher quality

Public policy must deal with the world as it is, not as we would wish it to be. As in any profession, some teachers are better than others. We might wish that more effective teachers paid the same as less effective teachers would work just as hard, but theory, and new evidence from Wisconsin, suggest that this is not the case. If we want to get the best out of our teachers, we need a labor market structured to encourage that. ...

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