How This Legislation

Will Bring Minnesota

Forward As A World  Class Education System

This legislative Initiative is a call for a systemic change in the teaching and learning happening is our schools.  It challenges the status quo of teaching and learning.  Teaching becomes student centered and active in nature. Students would be taught advanced  thinking skills of critical thinking, creative thinking, Inquiry learning and problem based learning, along with how to work collaboratively.  All skills provide evidence of narrowing the achievement gap.    

The Challenge:

  • The Achievement gap, K-12, in Minnesota schools, has not budged. We have one of the worst in the nation
  • Our students are bored and disengaged in schools
  • The school age population is changing. In 2019, one half of all students in Minnesota’s schools were students of color
  • Gifted students are an underserved population in our schools. We received an “F” for our failures
  • Only a 11% of districts in the state have gifted programs, even though the language of the in Rule today says that districts, (“May”) have gifted programs
  • The workplace is changing. Our students need a different preparation. Entry-level jobs are being replaced by automation and robotics
  • Tax revenue is threatened
  • While Minnesota received some good news with surplus of over $9 Billion, there exists a surplus that could fund this change.  
  • Agencies responsible for making a difference in students’ academic growth have chosen a pathway that would lead to local control.
  • Districts maintaining that position ignore the issues this legislative initiative addresses: Equity, Equality and Economics.
  • Charter schools, also districts, had little success narrowing the achievement and in many districts, have increased the segregation of students.  

A Solution:

  • Teach all students 21st century thinking skills and strategies
  • Inquiry learning and problem-based learning, which provide choice in learning and strength base learning opportunities, increase student motivation and engagement, while learning critical and creative thinking skills
  • The legislation triples funding for gifted programming and includes Universal Screening as an expectation expanding gifted programming, including students not typically served in the programs.  African American, Latinos, Native Americans, Disabled Students, Twice Exceptional would always be included in the gifted roster in all districts in Minnesota.   While teaching all students, K-12, these advanced thinking skills, we would be building a strong workforce ready for trade schools or college and a lifetime of opportunity for higher paying employment. More students graduating with a deep background in these advanced skills will positively impact tax revenue.
  • In Minnesota with over 300 school districts, only about 11% of the school district used the funding as intended.  The other 78%  simply folded the $13PPU into the general operational funding stream, ignored the intent of the legislation and never started a gifted program.
  • Expecting districts to fulfill the intent of the this legislation, would require some accountability and the MDE would be orchestrating the process
    There exists an accountability element in the legislation. 
  • This legislative initiative is a call for a systemic change in the teaching and learning happening in our schools. Opposition this initiative maintains the status quo.

When this legislative proposal was introduced in December 2019, we reached out to  House and Senate Education Policy and Finance Committee members. We had collected 46 signatures in the House and in the Senate, bipartisan support. We had been beaten by the pandemic and the Capitol was shut down.  We returned with our efforts and 2023 session, and captured 28 signatures, with chief authors, in both the House and Senate. This past session, The DFL and MDE monopolized the voting and this legislative Initiative was stopped again.  Governor Walz likes this proposal, in part because it addresses the achievement gap.  As a result, we have been asked by the Governor’s office to share our information with all districts in the state, as well as, other agencies. A surplus still exists and we are coming back with another argument to bring this proposal into reality surplus,  we have continued our efforts and have  requested that the Governor move this legislative language into Rule. We continue to build support from the business world as they recognize the need for a better prepared workforce. This past session ended with no willingness of the Governor to move our legislative initiative into Rule.  Lobbyists from MSBA, EdMN and MASA successfully stopped our efforts during the last legislative session. They collectively advocated for local control and no mandates.  Our work holds districts accountable.  Districts have a long history of fraudulent behavior in receiving dollars from the legislature and not spending it as intended. Speak out and tell the governor to hold districts responsible for the money they receive. 

https://mn.gov/governor/contact/  Click on the link and asked the Governor to move the language into Rule.

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Email: Comments and questions are welcomed: william.keilty47@gmail.com