Education has made Minnesota the state it is today. Our future depends on all students having the opportunity to graduate ready for 21st Century success – whether they go on to a college, university or technical school or head straight to the workforce. Senator Marty is a strong, consistent advocate for more state investment at every level from early childhood through higher education.
All children need access to quality early childhood education. Senator Marty has supported efforts to improve opportunities from birth through pre-K. To close the opportunity gap and help all children prepare for school we must redouble our efforts in programs from Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE) and Headstart, to universal pre-K, and dramatically increase support for the Sliding Fee Childcare, so that all children have access to quality childcare.
Likewise, we need more state funding for E-12 schools so education is funded with progressive state income taxes instead of regressive property taxes. The quality of a school should not be dependent on the property wealth of the community in which it is based, and the state has a constitutional obligation to provide for quality schools across the state with a fair funding formula.
For higher education, affordability is lacking when students are encumbered with massive debt. Minnesota committed, in law, to providing 2/3rds of the funding for public higher education, but is currently paying far less than half. Minnesota invested in education even during the great depression, and the entire nation did so after World War II, with the GI bill. Education is expensive, but it is our best investment in the future.
John works for education policies that address the needs of the whole child and family. Children who are homeless, children who go to school hungry, children who go home to dysfunctional households are not able to thrive in school. John’s work in the Senate addresses these inter-related social needs: he has authored the Minnesota Health Plan that would provide comprehensive health care, including chemical dependency and mental health treatment, he has been leading the fight to address hunger and homelessness, and he has fought for economic and social policies that will enable all students to be prepared to thrive in school.
John has pushed to provide significantly more support services in the schools, including mental health professionals, counselors, and social workers. Minnesota has lagged far behind other states, and these services are more urgently needed than ever.
In addition, Senator Marty seeks to ensure that schools teach more than just fundamentals such as reading, writing, math and science. While these are vital parts of the core curriculum, education must include a broad spectrum of learning, including financial literacy, music and the arts, world languages, service learning, physical education, technical competence, and nutrition. Schools must ensure that students become caring, informed, knowledgeable, compassionate, and productive people, prepared for life and work in a global society.