For Immediate Release: February 28, 2012
Contact: Keith Hovis, 651-582-8275 or firstname.lastname@example.org
ROSEVILLE – As part of a series of school visits across Minnesota, Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius traveled to Mankato to visit Washington Elementary School to learn about their success in closing achievement gaps and to talk about how Governor Dayton’s budget would impact school districts across the state.
“Washington Elementary is doing a tremendous job meeting each individual student’s needs,” said Commissioner Cassellius, referencing the school’s designation as a Reward School in 2011 and 2012. “The results they’re getting are evidence that their strategy is working. Governor Dayton budget provides resources so that Washington Elementary can accelerate their gains, and so that every school in the state can replicate this kind of success.”
During the visit Commissioner Cassellius also visited the school’s successful all-day kindergarten program. With an investment of $40 million Governor Dayton’s proposal would expand access to quality all-day kindergarten, providing each district with the option to develop their own program. This critical investment ensures that access to all-day kindergarten is not determined by where a child is born.
All-day kindergarten is only one part of a larger investment in early education. Governor Dayton will also invest $44 million in early education scholarships. These scholarships are equitably distributed across the state and provide low-income families with the ability to enroll their child in a high quality early education program.
Mankato Area Public Schools would see an increase of more than $1.5 million in per pupil funding under the Governor’s budget plan. This funding will be essential as they seek to improve educational opportunities for the district’s underserved English Language Learners, free and reduced priced lunch and special education populations.