Historic Legislative Investments
State lawmakers made landmark investments in Minnesota’s schools this session, building on years of advocacy and organizing by young people and their families, educators, and school leaders across the state. The Minneapolis Foundation has supported this work for years through grants to a variety of nonprofit partners who are dedicated to addressing the deep racial inequities in our state’s education system.
This session, we deepened our commitment by partnering with the Advancing Equity Coalition, a multiracial movement of Minneapolis families, students, teachers, and community members that for the first time this year brought a policy agenda to the state capitol. This investment aligns with our Strategic Framework, which calls on us to strengthen our community not only through grantmaking, but using all available tools—including advocacy, research, and convening.
We celebrate and acknowledge our partners from AEC and other advocates including Bridgemakers, the Coalition of Asian American Leaders, the Coalition to Increase Teachers of Color and American Indian Teachers, EdAllies, the Solutions Not Suspensions Coalition, and many others for their work in support of Minnesota’s students. This session’s major wins include:
Paying Down the Debt Owed to Our Students
After decades of underfunding public education, the Legislature made a historic investment in K-12 students by:
- Increasing the funding formula by 4 percent in 2024 and 2 percent in 2025. In 2026 and beyond, the education funding formula will be tied to inflation, with a minimum increase of 2 percent and a maximum increase of 3 percent each year.
- Increasing the special education cross-subsidy to 44 percent for 2024-2026 and 50 percent for 2027 and beyond.
- More than doubling the funding to support English language learners by 2027 (from $704 per student today to $1,775 per student in 2027 and beyond).
Investing in a Diverse Teaching Force
This session, state lawmakers began to take bold and urgent action to address the lack of teacher diversity in Minnesota by investing in many of the policy changes proposed in the Increase Teachers of Color Act, including:
- Investing $80 million to support the recruitment and retention of teachers of color and Indigenous teachers.
Disrupting the School-To-Prison Pipeline
Lawmakers took action to ensure our schools are welcoming and inclusive environments for all students by:
- Banning K-3 suspensions.
- Banning the withholding of recess as a punishment.
- While these policy changes and related investments will go a long way to provide students with what they need to be successful, much more work lies ahead. We hope you will continue to support us, AEC, and other education advocates as we continue to work together to reimagine education.
Learn more about this session’s progress in this one-pager.
A Look at Literacy
This year, our team also kept a close eye on legislation focused on transforming how reading is taught in schools across the state.
This body of work, which was included in the K-12 Education Omnibus Bill, is known as the Read Act. It’s a huge investment in literacy, allocating over $70 million to support new expectations for phonics and de-coding strategies being taught to K-3 students, significant investments in reading curriculum, teacher training, and changes to how college and universities train teachers in the future.
Looking for more background on the topic of literacy? Check out this six-part podcast from American Public Media and Emily Hanford: Sold a Story: How Teaching Kids to Read Went So Wrong.