Mark Dayton on Education

Democratic Governor; previously Senator


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

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

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

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 don’t offer much savings. Grams offered no solutions, but said previous attempts haven’t worked. “Every time we raise the Pell Grant limits, college tuition goes up,” Grams said.
Source: By Bob Collins, Minnesota Public Radio on-line , Nov 6, 2000

40% more for special education; plus easier college loans

Source: Minnesota Newspaper Association Election Questionnaire , Jul 2, 2000

More funding for progressive public school programs

    I have a detailed, progressive agenda for public education in Minnesota:
  1. major increases in real dollars to the per-pupil funding formula
  2. improved teachers’ salaries and benefits
  3. reduced class sizes
  4. more compensatory aid for students who live in poverty, who have disabilities, and who need ESL classes
  5. increased funding for new computers and other educational technology
  6. after-school programs for kids, using counselors, coaches, and mentors
  7. eventual transfer of K-12 funding from local property taxes to progressive state taxes
  8. programs to help teachers expand their professional horizons and acquire new skills
  9. promote greater respect for academic achievement
  10. involve parents in the schools.
Source: Campaign Central Survey , Jul 2, 1998

Vouchers undermine our educational system

Vouchers undermine our educational system by promoting the idea of individualized advancement, escape and disassociation from responsibility for the common good. I oppose vouchers because they take precious tax dollars and split them between public and private schools. In addition, it has been proven that vouchers are not cost effective and they do not lead to gains in achievement.
Source: www.MarkDaytonForMN.com , campaign web site , Nov 7, 2000

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

Public schools are doing a good job; need more money

In general, public schools are doing a good job educating children, though people would be shocked to learn that many schools lack textbook, paper and other supplies, Dayton said.

Dayton labeled the notion that the state has been significantly increasing school funding and that the money in some cases has been wasted “the Big Lie.” The state’s share of school funding had been going down in recent years, so, as might be expected, property taxes had to increase, he said.

Source: ECM Publishers, “Election 98” , Jul 21, 1998

Supports charter schools, opposed to vouchers

Q: Do you favor alternatives to the existing education system, including charter schools, vouchers and private sector involvement?

A: I am a strong supporter of public education. While I support charter schools and open enrollment, I am opposed to vouchers. Families should be free to send their children to private schools, but their non-public choices should not be subsidized by other taxpayers. The public school system is our best hope for social progress.

Source: Campaign Central Survey , Jul 2, 1998

Voted YES on $52M for "21st century community learning centers".

To increase appropriations for after-school programs through 21st century community learning centers. Voting YES would increase funding by $51.9 million for after school programs run by the 21st century community learning centers and would decrease funding by $51.9 million for salaries and expenses in the Department of Labor.
Reference: Amendment to Agencies Appropriations Act; Bill S Amdt 2287 to HR 3010 ; vote number 2005-279 on Oct 27, 2005

Voted YES on shifting $11B from corporate tax loopholes to education.

Vote to adopt an amendment to the Senate's 2006 Fiscal Year Budget Resolution that would adjust education funding while still reducing the deficit by $5.4 billion. A YES vote would:
Reference: Kennedy amendment relative to education funding; Bill S AMDT 177 to S Con Res 18 ; vote number 2005-68 on Mar 17, 2005

Voted YES on funding smaller classes instead of private tutors.

Vote to authorize a federal program aimed at reducing class size. The plan would assist states and local education agencies in recruiting, hiring and training 100,000 new teachers, with $2.4 billion in fiscal 2002. This amendment would replace an amendment allowing parents with children at under-performing schools to use public funding for private tutors.
Reference: Bill S1 ; vote number 2001-103 on May 15, 2001

Voted YES on funding student testing instead of private tutors.

Vote to pass an amendment that would authorize $200 million to provide grants to help states develop assessment systems that describe student achievement. This amendment would replace an amendment by Jeffords, R-VT, which would allow parents with children at under-performing schools to use public funding for private tutors.
Reference: Bill S1 ; vote number 2001-99 on May 10, 2001

Voted YES on spending $448B of tax cut on education & debt reduction.

Vote to reduce the size of the $1.6 trillion tax cut by $448 billion while increasing education spending by $250 billion and providing an increase of approximately $224 billion for debt reduction over 10 years.
Reference: Bill H Con Res 83 ; vote number 2001-69 on Apr 4, 2001

Rated 82% by the NEA, indicating pro-public education votes.

Dayton scores 82% by the NEA on public education issues

The National Education Association has a long, proud history as the nation's leading organization committed to advancing the cause of public education. Founded in 1857 "to elevate the character and advance the interests of the profession of teaching and to promote the cause of popular education in the United States," the NEA has remained constant in its commitment to its original mission as evidenced by the current mission statement:

To fulfill the promise of a democratic society, the National Education Association shall promote the cause of quality public education and advance the profession of education; expand the rights and further the interest of educational employees; and advocate human, civil, and economic rights for all.
In pursuing its mission, the NEA has determined that it will focus the energy and resources of its 2.7 million members toward the "promotion of public confidence in public education." The ratings are based on the votes the organization considered most important; the numbers reflect the percentage of time the representative voted the organization's preferred position.
Source: NEA website 03n-NEA on Dec 31, 2003

Other governors on Education: Mark Dayton on other issues:
MN Gubernatorial:
Chris Coleman
Erin Murphy
Matt Dean
Rebecca Otto
Tim Walz
Tina Liebling
Tina Smith
MN Senatorial:
Heather Johnson
Jim Abeler
Mike McFadden

Gubernatorial Debates 2018:
AK: Walker(i) vs.Huggins(R) vs.Chenault(R)
AL: Kay Ivey(R) vs.Countryman(D) vs.Lee George(R) vs.Carrington (R) vs.Tommy Battle (R)
AR: Hutchinson(R) vs.West(L)
AZ: Ducey(R) vs.David Garcia (D) vs.Farley(D)
CA: Newsom(D) vs.Chiang(D) vs.Villaraigosa(D) vs.Delaine Eastin (D) vs.David Hadley (R) vs.John Cox (R) vs.Zoltan Istvan (I) vs.Allen(R)
CO: Ed Perlmutter (D) vs.Johnston(D) vs.Mitchell(R) vs.Tancredo(R) vs.Cary Kennedy (D) vs.George Brauchler (R) vs.Doug Robinson (R) vs.Barlock(R) vs.Lynne(R) vs.Polis(D)
CT: Malloy(D) vs.Drew(D) vs.Srinivasan(R) vs.David Walker (R) vs.Lumaj(R) vs.Visconti(R) vs.Lauretti(R)
FL: Gillum(D) vs.Graham(D) vs.Mike Huckabee (R) vs.Putnam(R)
GA: Kemp(R) vs.Casey Cagle(R) vs.Hunter Hill(R) vs.Stacey Abrams(D)
HI: Ige(D) vs.Hanabusa(D)
IA: Kim_Reynolds(R) vs.Leopold(D) vs.Boulton(D) vs.McGuire(D)
ID: Little(R) vs.Fulcher(R) vs.Labrador(R) vs.Ahlquist(R) vs.Minton(D)
IL: Rauner(R) vs.Kennedy(D) vs.Pawar(D) vs.Daniel Biss (D) vs.Pritzker(R)
KS: Brewer(D) vs.Wink Hartman (R) vs.Colyer(C) vs.Kobach(R)
MA: Baker(R) vs.Gonzalez(D) vs.Setti Warren (D) vs.Bob Massie (R)
MD: Hogan(R) vs.Alec Ross (D) vs.Cummings(D) vs.Madaleno(D)
ME: Mayhew(R) vs.Mills(D)
MI: Whitmer(R) vs.El-Sayed(D) vs.Tim Walz (D)
MN: vs.Smith(D) vs.Coleman(D) vs.Murphy(D) vs.Otto(D) vs.Tina Liebling (DFL) vs.Tim Walz (DFL) vs.Matt Dean (R)
NE: Ricketts(R) vs.Krist(I)
NH: Sununu(R) vs.Steve Marchand (D)
NM: Lujan-Grisham(D) vs.Pearce(R) vs.Cervantes(D) vs.Apodaca (D)
NV: Fisher (R) vs.Sisolak(D) vs.Laxalt(R) vs.Schwartz(R)
NY: Cuomo(R) vs.Sharpe(L)
OH: DeWine(R) vs.Sutton(D) vs.Taylor(R) vs.Jim Renacci (R) vs.Connie Pillich (D) vs.Schiavoni(D) vs.Husted(R) vs.Whaley(D)
OK: Gary Richardson (R) vs.Johnson(D)
OR: Brown(D) vs.Scott Inman(D) vs.Buehler(R)
PA: Wolf(D) vs.Wagner(R) vs.Barletta(R)
RI: Raimondo(D) vs.Fung(R) vs.Morgan(R)
SC: McMaster(R) vs.McGill(R) vs.Pope(R) vs.Templeton(R) vs.Smith(D)
SD: Noem(R) vs.Jackley(R) vs.Sutton(D)
TN: Green(R) vs.Dean(D) vs.Black(R)
TX: Abbott(R) vs.Glass(L) vs.White(D)
VT: Scott(R) vs.Stern(D)
WI: Walker(R) vs.Harlow(D) vs.Vinehout(D)
WY: Throne(D) vs.Dahlin(R)
Newly-elected governors (first seated in Jan. 2017):
DE-D: Carney
IN-R: Holcomb
MO-R: Greitens
NH-R: Sununu
NC-D: Cooper
ND-R: Burgum
VT-R: Scott
WV-D: Justice

Retiring 2017-18:
AL-R: Robert Bentley(R)
(term-limited 2018)
CA-D: Jerry Brown
(term-limited 2018)
CO-D: John Hickenlooper
(term-limited 2018)
FL-R: Rick Scott
(term-limited 2018)
GA-R: Nathan Deal
(term-limited 2018)
IA-R: Terry Branstad
(appointed ambassador, 2017)
ID-R: Butch Otter
(retiring 2018)
KS-R: Sam Brownback
(term-limited 2018)
ME-R: Paul LePage
(term-limited 2018)
MI-R: Rick Snyder
(term-limited 2018)
MN-D: Mark Dayton
(retiring 2018)
NM-R: Susana Martinez
(term-limited 2018)
OH-R: John Kasich
(term-limited 2018)
OK-R: Mary Fallin
(term-limited 2018)
SC-R: Nikki Haley
(appointed ambassador, 2017)
SD-R: Dennis Daugaard
(term-limited 2018)
TN-R: Bill Haslam
(term-limited 2018)
WY-R: Matt Mead
(term-limited 2018)
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Page last updated: Feb 16, 2018