I am the only District 60-B candidate who graduated from a Minneapolis public school (shout out to Edison High School), and I also have children currently enrolled in the district. I support:
- Universal Pre-K
- Funding to hire more teachers of color
- Reforming school disciplinary procedures to reduce suspensions
- Helping parents access services so they can better support their children's education
In the past 10 years, the student population of our schools has grown increasingly diverse, but our ability to provide a high quality education and resources to support students from a variety of communities has not kept pace.
Minnesota spends less money on non-classroom support services than any other state, and it shows. Students who are Native American, Black, Latino, or Asian-American face abysmal graduation rates. They are less likely to complete high school in four years in Minnesota than if they attended school anywhere else in the US.
Our schools need to do a better job preparing all students to succeed and our teachers must have the support they need to make this happen. We need a holistic cradle-to-career approach to improving our education system. And, we need to strongly invest in wrap-around services. All schools should have better access to social workers, medical and mental health professionals, nutrition experts, and out-of-school programs that build students social-emotional maturity.
Minnesota’s diversity should be its greatest strength, but our neglect of non-white students has stifled our progress towards equity and prosperity. This problem can be solved. By designating specific funding for student support services, such as counselors and after-school programs, Minnesota can ensure that every child has the opportunities they need to thrive and succeed.
Wrap-around services help create an environment where students are encouraged and supported in their learning, all the way to high school graduation. Learning is not limited to the classroom, and Minnesota shouldn’t limit its education resources there, either. Many schools in other parts of the country have developed successful student support services, but our state lacks holistic strategies and resources to implement them on a statewide basis. Legislative funding that is specifically designated for student support systems is a crucial first step to developing an equitable education system.
We must provide support services beginning in elementary school that are freely available to all students and work to close the opportunity gap that greatly impacts students from marginalized communities.
I want our children to attend inclusive schools where diversity is respected and acknowledged as a sign of strength. Every student has something to offer, and every student deserves a nurturing learning environment.