Senate DFLers welcome Minnesota back to school

As the last few days of August melt into September and the obligatory back-to-school shopping has been completed, families across the state are settling back into the school routine. The 2014-2015 school year however, may look a little different this year. Thanks to a historic investment of $485 million into k-12 education during the 2013 Legislative Session followed by greater investment into school lunch and breakfast programs and early childhood education there are many good things happening at schools this fall. Below is a list of legislation passed over the past biennium that could greatly improve your child’s education.

  • Legislation was passed to fund statewide implementation of all-day kindergarten at all public schools.  Studies have shown that students enrolled in all-day K continue to exceed educational measures relative to their peers in the same district.
  • A bill passed that provides $3.5 million to allow students who qualify for reduced-price lunch to have free lunch.   This helps give families right on the cusp of poverty a little extra help.
  • School breakfast funding was also included.  $569,000 will be used to provide universal and nutritious breakfasts for all Minnesota kindergarten students.
  • The Safe and Supportive Schools Act was passed into law this year which not only defines bullying but also provides teachers and administrators specific tools to address the problem.
  • The Legislature made funding early childhood education a priority in the last session by investing more than $11 million into Early Learning Scholarships, School Readiness Aid and the Early Childhood Family Education Program (ECFE).
  • The English Language Learner Program was given a financial boost by investing $4.9 million into the program that gives extra attention to Minnesota’s emerging communities.

Senate DFL