Sen. Kent’s top education priorities all included in Senate education budget bills
ST. PAUL, Minn – Sen. Susan Kent (DFL-Woodbury) has championed getting more school counselors into Minnesota schools for years. Wednesday morning, the Senate education committee unveiled its 2016 budget bill which includes $13 million for school counselors as well as several other provisions chief authored by Sen. Kent.
“Minnesota students and schools have faced this challenge of a lack of counselors and support staff for a long time. We currently rank 46th in the nation for our student to counselor ratio – but I’m really excited today to say if we pass this bill, we will be turning the tide on that ratio and getting more students the help they need in order to succeed in school,” said Sen. Kent.
Kent’s bill to fund Reading Corps was given $3 million in the budget bill. That money will head to a proven program that cost-efficiently helps kids reach a critical learning milestone: the ability to read proficiently by third grade. Her bill for additional funding to the Children’s Museum was also included, to the tune of $300,000 which will help the museum expand its interactive learning opportunities for kids.
The Senate education bill also includes some of Kent’s testing transparency and disaggregated data bills. These bills aim to provide parents more information about the tests their children are taking – and more detailed information for teachers about how students are performing on tests. Kent says today is a real win for Minnesota students and schools.
“I am so incredibly pleased to see a lot of the hard work I’ve been doing over this past fall and winter reflected as priorities for the entire Senate. I will continue to work hard over the remaining weeks of session to ensure these priorities remain in the bill as we work with the House of Representatives on a final bill,” said Kent.
Kent is also excited to announce her bill to help save college students money on textbooks was included in the Higher Education bill. Kent’s $200,000 measure encourages college and university professors to assign open educational resources, in order to potentially save students thousands of dollars over the course of their college careers.