Building a better Minnesota starts with giving our children and workforce a world-class education, and the skills they need to succeed in a global economy. That is why Governor Dayton is strongly committed to providing more funding for K-12 classrooms and early childhood education, increasing per pupil spending, and making college more affordable for Minnesotans. Governor Dayton is also focused on helping working Minnesotans access the education and workforce training they need to compete in today’s economy.
In the Spotlight:
Teaching Kids to Read Well
Reading is the cornerstone of all learning. That is why making sure every child is reading well by third grade is key to overall student success.
In 2011, Governor Dayton invested more than $55 million in early literacy.The Department of Education worked with every school district to develop local literacy plans that outline how curriculum, instruction, and assessments will be used to improve third grade reading scores. Early results of this key investment are promising: in 2012, students in grades 3-8 made substantial overall gains in reading, with notable progress among American Indian and Hispanic students.
• Increasing School Funding. Provided a $100 per pupil increase on the
school funding formula, resulting in a $132 million total increase.
• Funding Early Learning Programs. Invested $16 million of state
funds and federal grants in early learning scholarships for Minnesota
families, helping an estimated 1,200 kids attend high quality preschool
or childcare they otherwise would not have been able to attend.
• Helping Students Graduate. Developed a new accountability system
that gives parents and teachers a clearer picture of how schools and
students are making progress toward graduation.
• Encouraging Students to Apply for College. Sponsored College
Application Week, waiving application fees. Included a special focus on
underrepresented communities. Saw a 200% increase in applications.
• Training Minnesota’s Workforce. Funded 67 workforce training projects
through postsecondary training institutions, helping 88 Minnesota
businesses improve the skills of over 10,000 new and existing workers.
• Helping Working Adults Achieve a College Education. Helped 2,000
working adults achieve a college education – 88% of participants earned
college credit; 64% advanced their career or gained new employment.
• Teaching Minnesotans to Use Computers and Technology. Supported
38 sites for Digital Literacy Training statewide. Hosted more than 9,500
hours of literacy training events attended by over 6,800 Minnesotans.
• Helping Workers Succeed in Math. Partnered with 182 Minnesota
businesses to train over 2,800 job seekers in high-demand math skills.
• Training Unemployed Workers. Vocational Rehabilitation Services
has helped re-train, and re-employ nearly 5,000 unemployed workers.
• Focusing on Financial Literacy. Developed an interagency work group
on financial literacy, collaborating across 10 state agencies and engaging
hundreds of stakeholders to improve the financial fitness of Minnesotans.
• Getting Kids Outdoors. Over 4,000 teachers and 60,000 students have
participated in “school forest” classrooms, learning math, science, social
studies and other core subjects in outdoor settings.