#OurMN: Building a Better Minnesota through Investments in Education
9/28/2016 12:16:27 PM
All across Minnesota, teachers, students, and parents are getting back into the swing of the school year. While pencils, books and backpacks may have been on the minds of many leading up to the first day, there’s something else that’s essential to making sure every Minnesota student has the best possible shot at success: our tax dollars.
By funding our public schools, early learning programs, and colleges and universities, our tax dollars educate the next generation of Minnesotans and create a stronger, more dynamic workforce.
Below are just a few of the ways that Governor Dayton, Lt. Governor Smith, and the State of Minnesota are working to build a better Minnesota through investments in education:
Studies have shown that early learning programs have impressive and long-lasting benefits for low-income students, including increased high school graduation and employment rates, and decreased incarceration rates. Leading researchers and economists have found that these outcomes yield long-term benefits of as much as $16 for every $1 invested in early learning programs. Unfortunately, in 2015, over half of Minnesota’s three- and four-year-olds were not enrolled in any form of pre-kindergarten.
Governor Dayton and Lt. Governor Smith secured $25 million for voluntary pre-kindergarten programs this year.
While this investment was only able to fund sixty percent of the 183 school districts and charter schools that applied for funding, this is an important step toward voluntary pre-kindergarten for all Minnesota children.
State Grants help students from low- and moderate-income families pay for educational expenses at eligible Minnesota colleges or universities. For many students and families, state grants make a college education possible by alleviating some of the financial burden.
Check out this video from the Minnesota Department of Revenue to learn one student’s story:
To expand economic opportunities for American Indians, Governor Dayton and Lt. Governor Smith worked with the American Indian Opportunities Industrialization Center, the Northwest Indian Community Development Center, and the Legislature to create an $880,000 grant to provide access to high school diploma equivalency programs and job training for in-demand careers.
An ongoing $250,000 grant will allow the initiative to grow in future years, expanding economic opportunity across the state.
Learn more about how your tax dollars create a better Minnesota here and connect on social media with the hashtag #OurMN.