Public schools work. Every year, thousands of Minnesotan students graduate from public high schools across the country, having completed an increasingly tough curriculum and surpassing standards from previous years. In our public schools, students can learn calculus, analyze complex themes by Nobel Prize-winning authors, study advanced chemistry, biology and physics, program computers, and perform music and dance in international competitions. Every year, public school students learn, graduate and go on to the world’s best colleges and the world’s most competitive jobs.
But what about the achievement gap, the disparities amongst students in the same schools but with different socioeconomic status? It’s true that we’ve got a huge gap between students in our state — one that grows with each grade level as kids advance from kindergarten into high school. That’s not because we have a public education problem in Minnesota, but rather because we have a large, and growing, child poverty problem in our state and country. In addition, way too many bright young people in Minnesota can’t afford to go to college, and that thousands leave college with a mountain of debt that burdens them for decades. This is completely counter-productive to the best interests of our state, country and our future.
That’s why Aaron Neumann, as your State Representative for the Eastside, will fight for and supports:
- Making a tuition-free Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System (MnSCU) – This is not a far-fetched idea! In fact, the 2015 Legislature created the MnSCU Two-Year Occupational Grant Pilot Program which is a $5 million pilot project applies to about 1,200 programs, from accounting to welding, at 30 community and technical colleges, allowing for some 1,400 of Minnesota’s newest high school graduates to get free college tuition. It’s a great start, but lawmakers may or may not re-authorize the pilot program. Aaron will work with legislative and educational leaders to provide free community college for all.
- Universal All-Day Preschool Provided for Four-Year-Old Students - Universal all-day preschool provided for four-year-old students in Minnesota.
- Teacher Shortage Provisions – Legislation that addresses teacher shortages provisions, provides district employee career advancement grant program, creates special education professional caseload maximums, adds American Indian teachers, and makes teacher tax and student loan credits.
- Equitable Access to Effective and More Diverse Teachers - All students, including low-income and minority students to be provided with improved and equitable access to effective and more diverse teachers.