Says Bill Authored by Sen. Omar Fateh Opens Up Path to Education for Tens of Thousands of Minnesotans
SAINT PAUL, Minn. – Senate Majority Leader Kari Dziedzic (DFL-Minneapolis) said the Senate has passed Senator Omar Fateh’s (DFL-Minneapolis) Higher Education budget that provides free college tuition for tens of thousands of Minnesota students, allowing them to graduate debt free.
Majority Leader Dziedzic said the budget continues Minnesota’s long tradition of supporting access to a top-notch college education and it fundamentally changes how the state supports its students and institutions. The bill opens up new opportunities for students of color, addresses the state’s declining enrollment, keeps students from leaving the state for college, and helps create a highly-skilled workforce for Minnesota employers. It also invests $266 million to fund the needs of campuses, faculty and students at schools in the Minnesota State system.
“This bill keeps Minnesota in the forefront of higher education, which is the lifeblood of our state’s job creation and future economic success.” said Majority Leader Dziedzic. “It not only expands access to college for tens of thousands of students from diverse background, it also invests in the needs of our students on college campuses across the state.”
“The cornerstone of this budget is the Minnesota Commitment to Higher Education Act,” said Senator Fateh. “Out of tens of thousands of students we expect to enroll in this program, 30,000 of them will come from households making less than $40,000. Creating a pathway to a college degree for these students will change their lives, and the lives of their families for generations to come. This bill opens the door to a college degree to historically disadvantage communities, and begins to level the playing field for all Minnesotans. Reversing the decline in enrollment will fix college’s bottom lines while empowering students to make their own choices. This budget ensures that educational and economic opportunities will be available to all of our young people, regardless of race, wealth, or family history.”