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New proposed amendment in Minnesota to change the constitution on public schools

The proposal comes after two prominent Minnesotans want to help strengthen the state's public education.

Posted: Jan 14, 2020 7:38 AM

ROCHESTER, Minn.- A new constitutional amendment is proposed in Minnesota, designed to strengthen the state's public education.
Neel Kashkari, the President and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis and former Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Alan Page want to change the language of the constitution on the uniform system of public schools. The proposal would change the state's constitution, which has remained the same since 1857.

The amendement would allow every child in the state to have an equal right to a quality education. Minnesota has the nations second-widest achievement gap and graduation gap between black and white students. Kashkari explained why they're trying to push this forward, “we need to take action. Our achievement gaps across all of our 87 counties negatively affect our economy and workforce and, more importantly, the well-being of our children and their families.”

Some feel as though the proposed amendment would remove the state's obligation to pay for public education, but Kashkari believes its the opposite of that. Here's a statement from Superintendent Michael Muñoz from Rochester Public Schools fully supporting the change, "I support the notion of a constitutional amendment which addresses education disparities. As Rochester Public Schools’ Superintendent, I serve all of our students, each unique with different needs and abilities. To me, the critical step is ensure follow-through with the legislation. One of the proposers of the amendment, Federal Reserve President Neel Kashkari, speaks to legislative changes that follow the amendment. Some of the case studies he sites demonstrate success because there were actionable steps and resources allocated to achieve the outcomes. We strive for high rigor and relevance for all of our students. I strongly believe all children have a fundamental right to a quality public education that fully prepares them for success."

In order to amend Minnesota's constitution, the proposed amendment needs to be approved by a simple majority of both chambers of the legislature and then be approved by Minnesota voters. The goal is to have it on this fall's ballot.

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