Our Voice Our Choice

The Page Amendment sounds good on paper, but it will actually take away the voice of parents, school board members and legislators in education and hand it over to the courts.

No other state has produced academic gains or significantly narrowed the racial gap by turning education over to the courts. 

We can do better for Minnesota students, but this amendment will do more harm than good.

Empty promises

The Page Amendment represents empty words and empty promises for children about a right to a “quality” education with no specifics on how it will be achieved.

Losing our voice

Passage of the amendment will take away the voice of parents in their children’s education. Instead of talking to a local school board member or legislator, parents will have to hire a lawyer or join a lawsuit to be heard.

Do your job

K-12 education policy is one of the most important jobs of the Minnesota legislature. They should not abdicate that responsibility to lawyers and the courts.

Words alone won’t solve our problems

The new language is too vague and includes undefined terms that will be left up to interpretation by lawyers and courts.

Boon for the trial lawyers

The amendment will turn control of our schools over to economists, lawyers and the courts.

The amendment gives up on proven strategies from other states

Before we hand over education to the courts, let’s try proven strategies that helped other states improve.

  •  Reading Literacy: Mississippi created an intense early reading policy of identification, intervention and monitoring, making them No. 1 in the country for gains in fourth grade reading and math on the National Assessment of Educational Progress.
  • School Choice: Students in Florida, Arizona and Indiana all experienced gains after their states passed some form of real school choice.

Why liberals should oppose the Page Amendment

The amendment deletes the language currently in the constitution that guarantees both a fundamental right to education, and a legislative duty to provide an adequate education. The word “adequate” has a strong historical legal definition that goes beyond its plain language meaning.

The amendment will jeopardize gains made in Minnesota toward educational equity.

The amendment will lead to more reliance on standardized achievement tests.

Why conservatives should oppose the Page Amendment

The Page Amendment will hand over control of our schools to Minnesota judges appointed by Gov. Mark Dayton and Gov. Tim Walz. Five of the seven judges on the Supreme Court were appointed by Dayton and Walz.

Because they are not suited to handle education policy, the courts will likely demand more money be spent on our failing education system.

It is unknown how the Page Amendment will affect charter schools, private schools and home schooling. These choices could be undermined in the courts, leaving advocates little recourse.

Additional resources

Constitutional amendment on schools won’t help, will hurt by: Katherine Kersten

The Fed’s education constitutional amendment would turn schools over to economists and lawyers by: Will Stancil

Proposed Minnesota constitutional amendment threatens students’ rights Statement released by education experts and scholars