MSBA Government Relations team shares Voter Guide for 2020 elections
All elections are important, and this year's will bring challenges Minnesotans have never experienced before.
As in every election, education issues should be one of the forefront considerations when going to the polls. Minnesota has more than 856,000 students enrolled in K-12 public education. Minnesota has a diverse student population that includes more than 144,000 students enrolled in special education, and more than 324,000 students eligible for free and reduced lunches.
Before the pandemic, Minnesota was already experiencing one of the worst achievement gaps in the nation. COVID-19's impact on education has been significant across the U.S. and here in Minnesota. Distance learning has placed a spotlight on children who already experience economic, social and health barriers. And, some students lack access to broadband and other technologies that make it difficult for them to participate in distance learning. We, as public education advocates, must ensure candidates for public office understand the importance of these urgent issues facing Minnesota school boards, students, and staff each day.
We hope you find this voter guide
, which provides you with information on registration, election details, and questions to pose to candidates, helpful as you navigate through this year's unique election cycle.
MDE CARES Act Funding Update
Minnesota Department of Education Agency Finance Director André Prahl updated members on last Friday on the status of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding
for schools. Included in the update was how schools can work with counties to access aid, and an outlook on the financial support for schools in the upcoming state budget - which is facing a more than $2 billion deficit.
Senate Education Finance and Policy Committee Update
Last Thursday afternoon, the Senate Education Finance and Policy Committee held a virtual meeting
with presentations from Mayo Clinic and the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE).
Jennifer Dugan, Director - Statewide Student Assessments and Data Analytics, shared in her presentation
the Department is preparing for in-person assessment in the spring of 2020-21 and exploring options for possible remote assessment logistics for future years.
Special Session Update
We expect another special session to be called September 11, or thereabouts and perhaps a bond/tax bill can be worked out then.