Recent Posts

minnesota school funding

319484_10150274658633247_1013005_nPlease, please stick to your guns on this.

Gov. Mark Dayton issued an ultimatum Monday as the Legislature’s session entered its final week: Without emergency funding for schools he won’t cut a tax deal. Republicans said they wouldn’t meet his demand…
“My position is that I will not engage in any negotiations on a tax bill or sign any tax bill until we have an agreement to provide emergency school aid,” Dayton said, stressing that his proposal is needed to stop schools from shedding staff or ditching programs.

Update: As of Thursday morning, Governor Dayton is indeed sticking to his guns. Which is a great thing, for all Minnesotans, even if too many haven’t the sense to realize that.
A reality check on Minnesota school funding, and other remarks, below the fold.


Minneapolis election results – UpdateX2

by Dan Burns on November 8, 2017 · 0 comments

minneapolis_skyline__heroHere is the relevant page from the state website.

Jacob Frey looks like the likely winner for mayor.
Reelected incumbents on the council include Cam Gordon, Lisa Goodman, Abdi Warsame, Alondra Cano (at least very likely), Lisa Bender, Andrew Johnson, and Linea Palmisano.
Andrea Jenkins won the open seat in Ward 8. Jeremiah Ellison will likely defeat the incumbent, Blong Yang, in Ward 5.
The rest still cannot be called, and several of those involve multiple-term incumbents. The most important item is that Council President Barb Johnson appears well within striking distance of losing to Phillipe Cunningham.
I will check on things now and then today and provide updates where appropriate. I don’t know how long it will take to get through all those ranked-choice ballots, especially given that I saw somewhere that turnout was apparently the highest it’s been in at least 25 years.
Update: They’re called “unofficial winners” on the Minneapolis elections website, but Jacob Frey will be the new mayor.
Incumbent council member Kevin Reich has hung on, but long-serving member John Quincy has lost to Jeremy Schroeder. Jeremiah Ellison has indeed won. Steve Fletcher will take Frey’s old seat.
The big news is that Phillipe Cunningham has indeed defeated Council President Barb Johnson.
Update: Just a couple more things.
– As usual, most school funding questions (for traditional public schools, mind you) passed.

– In Edina, it looks like just one of the three candidates supported by a contemptible mailer that voters got was elected to the school board there, and that barely.


schoolsThe (Education Secretary Betsy) DeVos bus tour didn’t exactly dominate the headlines. Not an impressive undertaking.

While DeVos’s bus tour paints a bleak and failing portrait of our nation’s public schools, a new survey reveals that parents’ attitudes toward public education are very different
As Education Week reports, the national poll, conducted by Hart Research Associates, finds, “Most parents like their public school and want to support teachers, whom they trust more than anyone else to make choices for education.” The survey was conducted for the American Federation of Teachers, the nation’s second largest teachers’ union.
Contrasting to DeVos’s message about public schools as being “a mundane malaise,” 73 percent of parents responding to the poll “said their public school was ‘excellent or good,’ 20 percent said it was ‘adequate,’ and just 7 percent said their public school was ‘not so good or poor.’”
In contrast to DeVos’s promoting more expansions of private schools and charter schools, the poll found, “Over 70 percent of parents said they would prefer a good quality neighborhood public school for their children over the ability to have more choice of what schools they can send their children to.”
(Education Opportunity Network)

Maybe, somehow, such poll results can convince legislators in Minnesota to do more about the following. But as long as the Party of Trump has majorities there, that’s wishful thinking.

The education achievement gap in Minnesota is a real and persistent problem. For example, the 2016 graduation rate among black students was 22 percent below that of white students, while the rate among American Indian students was 35.5 percent below. While the gap in graduation rates has narrowed in recent years, it is still large and troubling. In response, conservatives wring their hands, bemoaning the lack of progress in closing the gap, despite “all the money” that the state has spent on education. In fact, real per pupil state investment in E-12 education has declined over the last fifteen years, especially in the two central city school districts that have a disproportionate share of the state’s minority students.
(North Star Policy Institute)


Elections today

by Dan Burns on November 3, 2015 · 0 comments

voteYou can get lists here of where there are municipal and/or school district elections today in Minnesota. Here’s an article from the PiPress about school funding issues. I wrote about the St. Paul City Council Wards 1-3 here, 4-7 here, and the school board here.


There is one Minnesota legislative election, in House 46A, for Ryan Winkler’s old seat. Not much of a barnburner, as DFL activist Peggy Flanagan is running unopposed.

Nationally, of interest to progressives everywhere is the effort to win a Democratic majority in the Virginia Senate, as a step to eventually undoing the extreme, anti-democratic gerrymandering that took place in blue/purple states after the disastrous 2010 election. The Kentucky governor race is also notable. You can read more about both, and much else, here.


Minnesota education and tax cheats

by Dan Burns on February 11, 2013 · 1 comment

Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton’s proposal for education spending is in many respects a thing of beauty.  The dissembling corporate weasels at places like StudentsWorstNightmare may not like it much – where’s all the money for more testing? – but, tough.

The main issue is paying for it.  Governor Dayton has produced strong proposals to fix Minnesota’s budget issues for the long term. The rich man and the corporatists are squealing like swine. mnpACT! takes them down.

Minnesota loses nearly $2 billion a year in tax revenue due to some of the state’s major corporations and wealthy individuals moving their earnings to tax havens, a new report found…

Minnesota loses nearly as much as Pennsylvania and Illinois. States with much larger populations.

There is a touch of irony in that Dayton’s proposal would increase revenues by about $2 billion and our corporate brethren are sticking it to the rest of us for about that same amount.

And then they complain about how “unfair” it is to them.

{ 1 comment }