Governor Mark Dayton

Politics in Minnesota - Engineering a recovery in Minnesota

Minnesota business service companies including engineering outfits are performing a little better than they were a year ago, according to a survey out Wednesday from the state Department of Employment and Economic Development.

The situation bodes well not only for employment but also for commercial real estate and construction because engineers provide some of the early prep work for building expansions and renovations.

The news comes about a week after DEED reported that Minnesota jobs involving architectural, engineering and related services are up 1.9 percent in the past 12 months, another indication that more work is on the way.

DEED conducted a survey of 237 scientific, engineering, accounting, computing and public relations companies in April and May. It found 46 percent saw sales grow over the past 12 months, up from 42 percent reporting sales growth in last year’s survey. [Read more]

Saint Cloud Times - Your Turn: Reducing college debt becomes a priority

You can learn a great deal listening to college students from every region of the state.

During visits this year, they told me about the choices they have made, the challenges they face, and what they thought Gov. Mark Dayton and the Legislature could do to help them meet those challenges.

Students in St. Cloud were among those who said they believe that completing their education is critical to improving their lives and the lives of their families, but the daily challenges of making that happen are daunting.

Big bill to pay

Tuition has risen so drastically in recent years that even though some students had a college savings plan, it is no longer adequate to cover the cost of even one year of school. Many receive a grant or scholarship, but will still graduate thousands of dollars in debt. Nearly all of them work, and yet when asked if they also had student loans, the majority raised their hands. One student told me, “The best thing Governor Dayton can do for students is help reduce debt.” [Read More]

July 1, 2013  |  News Alerts


The Post Review - State aid the ‘best economic news’ in decades for NBAPS

North Branch Area Public Schools is going to see a boon as the result of the $15.7 billion education bill Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton signed into law last month.

Up to $3 million in additional funding could be a possibility during the next biennium, NBAPS Finance Director Randi Johnson said at the Thursday school board meeting.

Johnson explained the numbers still have to be smoothed out, but North Branch stands to benefit from the Legislature’s decision. 

“When I read my email (about the funding), I was like, ‘Oh, my gosh,’” Superintendent Deb Henton said.

Johnson explained there have been increases in the state’s basic funding formula, and there have also been significant changes in the way the state counts students and subsequently allocates money. [Read More

MPR - State pumps money into early education to close achievement gap

ST. PAUL, Minn. — In a little over a year, many of Minnesota's youngest students will be spending more time in the classroom.

State lawmakers this spring approved $40 million in funding for all-day kindergarten and more money for pre-kindergarten scholarships for children from low-income families aiming to close the gap in standardized test scores between white students and students of color.

That's enough money to provide scholarships to about 10,000 children from low-income families in each of the next two years.

By the fall of 2014, students in all of Minnesota's 337 school districts will have access to free all-day kindergarten thanks to a $134 million boost in funding approved by state lawmakers.

Researchers say access to early childhood education is a critical step in ensuring that students do well from the start. Studies have found that gaps in learning are already wide when children enter school; children living in poverty, for example, know far fewer vocabulary words than their more-affluent counterparts. [Read More]

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