State of Minnesota Archives: on Education


Jason Lewis: Question rising tuition rather than taxpayer funding

The skyrocketing cost of higher education--up 200% since just 1996--is leaving our young people with staggering debt. The only thing that's going up faster is textbooks. Naturally, instead of addressing the rising costs, the Obama administration wants taxpayers to forgive the loans after a short period--but only if the borrower gets a job with government or a nonprofit. That's a bad deal for the taxpayers (many of whom didn't go to college) who guarantee the $1 trillion in student debt. Democrats also want a new $750 billion-dollar free college bill passed--but before we do that, we should be asking university administrators why tuition costs are rising faster than gasoline, groceries, housing, or even health care. We need more competition in higher education and a greater emphasis on less expensive vocational and tech training essential to many of our young students looking for gainful employment.
Source: 2016 Minnesota House campaign website JasonLewis2016.com Nov 8, 2016

Jason Lewis: Replace Department of Education with school choice

Three decades and $70 billion (annually) later, the federal Department of Education continues to micromanage our schools. Even the recently enacted ESSA law, meant to reform Common Core, allows states to take over local districts if they fail to perform. We need real changes--such as merit pay, collective-bargaining reform, seniority rules changes, and school choice--in order to best serve our children.
Source: 2016 Minnesota House campaign website JasonLewis2016.com Nov 8, 2016

Mark Dayton: Invest in education before tax cuts for millionaires

Legislative Summary:A bill for funding early childhood, kindergarten through grade 12, and adult education, including standards and assessments, charter schools, special education, facilities and technology, libraries, early childhood education, prevention, self-sufficiency and lifelong learning; and modifying an income tax credit.

Excerpts from Veto Letter:The bill' s total investment of $400 million is insufficient given the state's large surplus. In 2013, with a projected budget deficit of $627 million, the spending increase for E-12 education was $606 million. It is astonishing that with a $1.9 billion surplus, there would be less invested in our schools in 2015. And it is incomprehensible that estate tax cuts for millionaires is a higher priority than investing adequately in our students & young children.

Legislative Outcome: Passed House 69-61-0, April 25; passed Senate 39-28, April 29; vetoed by Gov. Dayton, May 21

Source: Minnesota Legislative voting records on HB844 May 21, 2015

Erin Murphy: Invest more in early childhood and K-12 education

Legislative Summary:A bill for funding early childhood, kindergarten through grade 12, and adult education, including standards and assessments, charter schools, special education, facilities and technology, libraries, early childhood education, prevention, self-sufficiency and lifelong learning; and modifying an income tax credit.

Excerpts from Veto Letter:The bill' s total investment of $400 million is insufficient given the state's large surplus. In 2013, with a projected budget deficit of $627 million, the spending increase for E-12 education was $606 million. It is astonishing that with a $1.9 billion surplus, there would be less invested in our schools in 2015. And it is incomprehensible that estate tax cuts for millionaires is a higher priority than investing adequately in our students & young children.

Legislative Outcome:Rep. Murphy voted NAY; passed House 69-61-0, April 25; passed Senate 39-28, April 29; vetoed by Gov. Dayton, May 21

Source: Minnesota Legislative voting records on HB844 Apr 25, 2015

Heather Johnson: Common Core is unconstitutional, and also underhanded

Q: Do you support school choice in the form of vouchers?

A: I do support school choice. Common Core was pushed through by unelected bodies and businesses, not in the legislation in accordance with our constitution. Not only was it unconstitutional, but it was underhanded. It was not led by parents and educators, I don't know anyone who doesn't think that parents and educators working together know better how their children learn. Educators who see these kids everyday should have a say in how they teach, not be given a curriculum and told that's how they're going to teach. I've been around the state and seen the private schools, they are flexible and have a variety of models, while including the curriculum that those educators developed directly. I have actually toured public, charter, and private schools--finding that private schools are more flexible in how they teach using a variety of different models to fit the class.

Source: News Examiner Q&A on 2014 Minnesota Senate race Aug 11, 2014

Jim Abeler: Oppose nationwide Common Core standards

Question topic: The federal government should establish nationwide standards (such as Common Core) for high-school graduation.

Abeler: Strongly Disagree

Source: Faith2Action iVoterGuide on 2014 Minnesota Senate race Jul 2, 2014

Mike McFadden: Repeal federal Common Core education standards

McFadden focused his [GOP Convention] speech on the economy and education policy, rarely throwing out the kind of conservative red meat rhetoric that earns cheers. "The single biggest issue in this country today is we have created a class of politicians, and the Republicans are just as bad as the Democrats," he said.

He called for the repeal of the federal Common Core education standards for states and bashed so-called ObamaCare, but didn't call for a full-on repeal of the healthcare program.

Source: Minneapolis Post on 2014 Minnesota Senate race May 31, 2014

Jim Abeler: Oppose Common Core's centralized federal oversight

"It's now or never if we in Minnesota want to preserve control and integrity in our nation-leading K-12 education system [against the] Common Core educational standards.

"The current nationwide trend is to centralize federal oversight of education programs. Lured by the bribe of 'free' money, states are willing to implement Common Core's mediocre standards, give up state and local decisionmaking, and surrender private student information to national data banks. So far, Minnesota is still in charge of its education destiny. But for how long? Looking around, we see that many other states have submitted to an untested, experimental, one-size-fits-all model. Already we are hearing stories of buyers' remorse.

"To preserve the integrity of our K-12 system I have prepared legislation that would create a firewall between Minnesota state government and the federal government. I believe Minnesotans need to be allowed to run their own state."

Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune on 2014 Minnesota Senate race Feb 14, 2014

Mike McFadden: Measure more; dictate reading lists less

Q: What committee assignments would you want?

A: One assignment I clearly want is a seat on the Education Committee. I've been very involved with inner-city education. What that's allowed me to see is, we can do better. We can achieve better results with a little bit more focus. I compare our results to similar results in the inner-city high schools, then I look at how much money we've spent on those schools. So, I want to focus on allocating our dollars to areas that work. I want to measure and do better in education. We have to do it; the status quo is not an option.

Q: What about "No Child Left Behind"?

Q: I don't believe the federal government should be dictating what second graders should be reading. I'd like to see some changes in simple things, such as, there is a program in Minnesota called "Minnesota Reading Corps." Their philosophy is, first you learn to read, then you read to learn. It's really simple: By third grade, you need to learn to read at a third-grade level.

Source: Minneapolis Post on 2014 Minnesota Senate race Jul 15, 2013

Jim Abeler: Resident tuition rates for immigrants if they follow rules

Excerpts from legislation: A student, other than a nonimmigrant alien, shall qualify for a resident tuition rate or its equivalent at state universities and colleges, including the University of Minnesota, if the student meets all of the following requirements:
  1. high school attendance within the state for three or more years;
  2. graduation from a state high school or attainment within the state of the equivalent of high school graduation; and
  3. in the case of a student without lawful immigration status, the filing of an affidavit with the institution of higher education stating that the student has filed an application to legalize the student's immigration status or will file an application at the earliest opportunity the student is eligible to do so.
Legislative outcome: Jim Abeler Co-Authored H. F. 0875: Bill passed Senate, 41-23-3, May 1; died in House Committee
Source: Minnesota legislative voting records: H.F.0875 Feb 25, 2013

Mark Dayton: Education begins early in life, & continues throughout life

I want Minnesota to offer the world's best educations for ALL of our citizens, children and grandchildren. Educations which begin early in life, and continue throughout life; so that all of us can learn the skills, and relearn the new skills, necessary to succeed in a rapidly changing and ever-more-competitive global economy.

We know that our exceptional citizens, who are more inventive, harder working, and more productive than people anywhere, have been the most important contributors to our state's economic progress and social vitality. Most of us agree that our citizens' superior educations have been crucial to our previous successes.

And many of us agree that providing all Minnesotans with the best, most advanced, and yet affordable educational opportunities will be even more essential to their future success, and thus to ours.

Source: 2013 State of the State speech to Minnesota Legislature Feb 6, 2013

Mark Dayton: Restore $240M for higher ed, but still lowest since 1981

My proposed budget for the next biennium would spend $1.8 billion less than was forecasted for those two years, when I took office. However, that significant cut is only the latest reduction in state support for higher education. I searched the archives looking for a previous biennium when the State of Minnesota spent less money, in real dollars, to support higher education. The last time we actually spent less to support higher education, in real dollars, than we are in FY12-13...was in FY80-81.

I'll say it again. Since FY80-81, real state spending for all of postsecondary education has been higher than it is today. My budget would add $240 million in higher ed. funding for the next biennium. That counts as spending increase, which, technically, it is. However, it falls over $100 million short of restoring the funding cut from FY10/11; and it still leaves state support for higher education hundreds of million dollars below the real levels 30 years ago.

Source: 2013 State of the State speech to Minnesota Legislature Feb 6, 2013

Tom Emmer: Vouchers for private or religious school

Source: Minnesota Congressional 2008 Political Courage Test Nov 1, 2008

Tom Emmer: Supports voluntary school prayer & abstinence-only sexual ed

Q: Do you support a moment of silence in public schools?

A: Yes.

Q: Do you support voluntary prayer in public schools?

A: Yes.

Q: Do you support sexual education programs that include information on abstinence, contraceptives, and HIV/STD prevention methods?

A: Undecided .

Q: Do you support abstinence-only sexual education programs?

A: Yes.

Source: Minnesota Congressional 2008 Political Courage Test Nov 1, 2008

Norm Coleman: Fully fund special education; no unfunded mandates

Q: Do you favor extending tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, or investing more money into our struggling school systems?

A: The rhetoric raised by that question... somehow itís tax breaks for the rich or education. No, first we need to fully fund special education -- no question about that. As an urban mayor I understood what unfunded mandates did to a community. In the end you have to figure out a way to work together to build coalition.

Source: Minnesota Public Radio, Senatorial debates Oct 21, 2002

Mark Dayton: Make college tuition fully tax deductible

College Costs: Dayton and Gibson disagreed on ways to reduce the cost of higher education. Dayton advocated making college tuition fully tax deductible. But Gibson said tax deductions for students donít offer much savings. Grams offered no solutions, but said previous attempts havenít worked. ďEvery time we raise the Pell Grant limits, college tuition goes up,Ē Grams said.
Source: By Bob Collins, Minnesota Public Radio on-line Nov 6, 2000

Mark Dayton: 40% more for special education; plus easier college loans

Source: Minnesota Newspaper Association Election Questionnaire Jul 2, 2000

Mark Dayton: Vouchers take precious tax dollars from public schools

I oppose vouchers because they take precious tax dollars and split them between public and private schools. Instead I believe that fully funding special education should be the top priority. This would free up state hands to hire new teachers, to reduce class sizes and other initiatives that would improve the quality of education;
Source: Minnesota Newspaper Association Election Questionnaire Jul 2, 2000

  • The above quotations are from State of Minnesota Politicians: Archives.
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2016 Presidential contenders on Education:
  Republicans:
Gov.Jeb Bush(FL)
Dr.Ben Carson(MD)
Gov.Chris Christie(NJ)
Sen.Ted Cruz(TX)
Carly Fiorina(CA)
Gov.Jim Gilmore(VA)
Sen.Lindsey Graham(SC)
Gov.Mike Huckabee(AR)
Gov.Bobby Jindal(LA)
Gov.John Kasich(OH)
Gov.Sarah Palin(AK)
Gov.George Pataki(NY)
Sen.Rand Paul(KY)
Gov.Rick Perry(TX)
Sen.Rob Portman(OH)
Sen.Marco Rubio(FL)
Sen.Rick Santorum(PA)
Donald Trump(NY)
Gov.Scott Walker(WI)
Democrats:
Gov.Lincoln Chafee(RI)
Secy.Hillary Clinton(NY)
V.P.Joe Biden(DE)
Gov.Martin O`Malley(MD)
Sen.Bernie Sanders(VT)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren(MA)
Sen.Jim Webb(VA)

2016 Third Party Candidates:
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Roseanne Barr(PF-HI)
Robert Steele(L-NY)
Dr.Jill Stein(G,MA)
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Page last updated: Feb 28, 2017