With just over two weeks before the May 18 end of session, activity is picking up. Next Tuesday, an updated state forecast will be presented, and no one is expecting good news.
Distance learning cast a glaring spotlight on the lack of internet access and devices across the state. Now with distance learning continuing for the rest of the current school year and possibly into the fall, the inequity is alarming and allows many students to fall further behind in their education
. Border to border high-quality highspeed broadband
has taken on the importance of last century’s electrification of America. Both Governor Tim Walz and Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka (R-Nisswa) in different briefings said getting connectivity to all students is a top priority. They suggested using federal coronavirus aid dollars to make it happen. This week the House and Senate top legislative leaders echoed this priority and revealed bills that would spend $20 million to increase conductivity. Two years ago, a broadband taskforce estimated the cost for border to border broadband in Minnesota at $200 million. The state directed $40 million in one-time funding for broadband last session, but there is still a lot of work to do.
also known as duel-credit, are college courses that students can take in high school. Minnesota pioneered concurrent enrollment courses in 1985, which equitably allow students and families from across the state to reap the benefits of this popular program. In 2015, the Higher Learning Commission said it would enforce the requirement that teachers who teach dual-credit courses must have a master’s degree in the content area of the course by 2022. Although many teachers have a master’s degree, it is usually in the art of teaching and does not meet the requirement.
. The Minnesota Legislature supports the Lakes Country Service Cooperative(LCSC), which developed the successful 18 Online program that provides statewide access for teachers to earn the statewide access for teachers to earn the necessary master’s degrees.