LETTER: Investments in students’ futures

To the Editor,

As a father and grandfather, I’ve spent the last number of years seeing how important our schools are for our kids. Now that they’re starting to head back to school for the year, I was happy to look back on the things we passed this year to help schools and students in our area and around the state.

The main thing we passed — and got signed into law — was a $1.3 billion statewide increase in education funding in the next two years. That goes to help every school in Minnesota, and can make a big difference in our area. For example, South St. Paul and South Washington County schools will receive a combined $9.3 million of additional, new investment over the next two years.

One thing I’ve learned more about since coming to the legislature is early education. Our plan targets our investments to help our youngest learners and their families. We included funding for early education scholarships, which give families flexibility to choose the program that best fits their child. We also have funding for districts to implement School Readiness Plus, or VPK. It’s important kids are ready for kindergarten and our plan creates the needed choice and flexibility to accomplish this goal.

As kids and teachers start their school year, it’s important to look ahead to the future, as our investments this year will go to help students this fall and for years to come.

Rep. Keith Franke, District 54A

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