Move swiftly to close achievement gaps, invest in Minnesota's youth
Although we may hear a lot these days about division within our state, there is at least one issue that historically unites us: a shared belief in the value of quality education for all children, beginning in their earliest years.
Minnesota has a rich history of supporting education from pre-K through postgraduate studies. For more than two decades in the 1980s and 1990s, the state invested heavily in public education, according to the Foundation for Child Development’s case study, “Into the Fray: How a Funders Coalition Restored Momentum for Early Learning in Minnesota.”
Then we hit a roadblock. By 2008, public funding for early childhood had fallen by nearly 20 percent, while Minnesota children living in poverty had nearly doubled and the number of impoverished families drastically increased. Yet the state chose to divert fiscal attention from critical programs for our most at-risk early learners...