Increase Teachers of Color Act

Saint Paul, MN – The Biennial Minnesota Teacher Supply and Demand report released last week underlined Minnesota’s severe and persistent shortage of teachers of color and American Indian teachers (TOCAIT). Sen. Patricia Torres Ray and Rep. Mary Kunesh-Podein are introducing legislation to promote new and strengthened efforts to attract, prepare and retain more teachers of color and American Indian teachers in Minnesota.

Only 4.3 percent of all teachers are TOCAIT, while 33.5 percent of Minnesota students are of color and American Indian students. The percentage of students of color continues to grow but the percentage of TOCAIT remains the same.

WHO:             Senator Patricia Torres Ray (D-Minneapolis)

Representative Mary Kunesh-Podein (D-New Brighton)

WHAT:          Comprehensive legislation to increase the percentage of TOCAIT in Minnesota through systemic change and significant state investment to provide all students with more equitable access to effective and diverse teachers who more closely reflect the increasing diversity of E-12 students.

WHEN:          Monday, February 11, 2019, 9:00am

WHERE:       B971 Capitol Press Room

Duluth third graders inspire state legislation on seat belts: Senator Simonson Speaking Engagement

ST. PAUL, Minn – Third graders from Laura MacArthur Elementary in Duluth began a project recently on civic engagement. Their topic: writing letters to their newly elected State Senator, Erik Simonson (DFL-Duluth), asking him for seat belts on their school bus. The letters, and the pictures that accompanied the letters were well received. Sen. Simonson has drafted a bill, (Senate File 126) to fulfill the student’s request and in accordance with recommendations from the National Safety Council, that any school bus purchased after Dec. 31 of 2017 be equipped with safety belts for all passengers.

The students invited Sen. Simonson to speak to their class this Monday, Feb. 6.

WHO: Sen. Erik Simonson (DFL-Duluth) will be speaking with Ms. Emily Glomski’s third grade class about the Minnesota Legislature and the bill he has authored at the request of the students.

WHEN: Monday, Feb. 6 at 12:15 p.m.

WHERE: Laura MacArthur Elementary School, 720 N Central Ave, Duluth.

Members of the press are invited to attend. Interviews will be available with some of the 3rd grade letter writers, teacher Ms. Glomski as well as Sen. Simonson.

District to receive $2.2 million in pre-K funding

Thanks to the efforts of legislators like Sen. John Hoffman (DFL-Champlin) and his Senate colleagues – 3,300 four-year-olds will have a better opportunity to succeed in school this fall. This week Governor Dayton announced the schools receiving pre-K funding from the $25 million investment passed this session. Both of Sen. Hoffman’s school districts are receiving funds; the grant size and the number of students served are listed below:

Robust Senate Education Bill a commitment to students and teachers

Initiatives addressing the state’s teacher shortage problem, investing in early education and student support services, and investing in the need-based State Grant Program are featured prominently in the Senate’s $148.2 million education and higher education budget articles that passed last Thursday.

Senate passes $489 million budget bill; includes several Kent provisions

After hours of debate, the Senate passed a $489 million budget bill on Thursday. The bill includes investments for all areas of the state budget including education, transportation, public safety and others. A majority of Sen. Susan Kent’s (DFL-Woodbury) high priority education-related proposals have been included in the bill. Sen. Kent says she’s proud of the hard work of the Senate, and she’s proud of the DFL caucus for focusing on maintaining fiscal stability in the coming years.