Preparing for the New School Year
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Preparing for the New School Year


>>”CAPITOL REPORT” IS A PRODUCTION OF SENATE MEDIA SERVICES.>>WITH THE STATE FAIR IN FULL SWING IT’S TIME FOR BACK TO SCHOOL. THIS WEEK THE NEW EDUCATION COMMISSIONER AND THE SENATE EDUCATION CHAIR TALK ABOUT WHAT STUDENTS AND PARENTS CAN EXPECT AT SCHOOL THIS YEAR. STAY TUNED FOR OUR BACK TO SCHOOL EPISODE OF “CAPITOL REPORT.” ♪♪>>WELCOME TO THIS WEEK’S PROGRAM. I’M SHANNON LOEHRKE. SUMMER IS NEARLY OVER AND PARENTS LIKE ME ARE READY FOR THEIR KIDS TO RETURN TO THE STRUCTURE AND LEARNING OF THE SCHOOL YEAR. I’VE THE OPPORTUNITY TO SIT DOMP WITH THE NEW COMMISSIONER OF OF THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, MARY CATHERINE RICKER. I BEGAN BY ASKING HER IF FAMILIES WILL NOTICE ANY SIGNIFICANT CHANGES AS KIDS HEAD BACK TO THE CLASSROOM.>>I AM REALLY EXCITED FOR THIS SCHOOL YEAR TO START. I THINK STUDENTS AND THEIR FAMILIES ARE GOING TO NOTICE ALL SORTS OF THINGS. WITH EVERY SCHOOL YEAR COMES A NEW EXCITEMENT, BECOMES NEW THINGS THAT SCHOOL COMMUNITIES ARE DOING ON BEHALF OF THEIR STUDENTS. I ACTUALLY THINK ONE OF THE BEST WAYS OF INITIALLY ENGAGING FAMILIES AND FOR FAMILIES TO ENGAGE THEIR SCHOOL COMMUNITIES IS ACTUALLY ASKING THAT QUESTION. WHETHER IT’S AN OPEN HOUSE OPPORTUNITY, PERHAPS IT’S A SCHOOL TOUR, AND JUST SAYING, YOU KNOW, WHAT WILL MY CHILD SEE DIFFERENTLY THIS YEAR? OR FOR STUDENTS THEMSELVES TO SAY, SO, HEY, WHAT’S NEW, MS. RICKER? AND LETTING THE SCHOOL COMMUNITY THEMSELVES SORT OF UNVEIL, REVEAL WHAT IT IS THEY’VE BEEN PLANNING FOR STUDENTS AND THEIR LEARNING THIS YEAR. I THINK WE ARE GOING TO — WE ARE GOING TO HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY AS A STATE TO SEE — TO SEE STUDENTS COME BACK TO SCHOOL TO, YOU KNOW, ALL SORTS OF OPPORTUNITIES, GIVEN THE SORT OF WORK EDUCATORS HAVE BEEN DOING THIS SUMMER.>>SCHOOLS RECEIVED A FUNDING BOOST WHICH BASICALLY MEANS 2% AND 2% ON THE FORMULA FOR THE NEXT TWO YEARS. IN ADDITION TO A CAP ON THE MONEY THAT HAD BEEN GOING TO SPECIAL EDUCATION EXPENSES. WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR SCHOOLS GENERALLY? AND ARE DIFFERENT SCHOOLS IMPACTED DIFFERENTLY?>>I REALLY APPRECIATE YOU ASKING THAT QUESTION BECAUSE I DO KNOW THE — THERE IS SOME CONSTERNATION THAT 2% AND 2% JUST STARTS COVERING THE COST OF INFLATION. AND SO WHAT IS NEW THIS YEAR AROUND SCHOOL FUNDING WAS THE — WAS THE WORK WE DID WITH THE LEGISLATURE AND OF COURSE THE GOVERNOR AND LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR’S OFFICE TO FREEZE SPECIAL EDUCATION FUNDING, TO PUT A DOWN PAYMENT ON THE AMBITIONS WE HAVE FOR MEETING THE NEEDS OF OUR STUDENTS. AND SO GOING INTO THIS SCHOOL YEAR, WITH AN INCREASE ON THE GENERAL EDUCATION FORMULA, AND A COMMITMENT TO FREEZE THAT SPECIAL EDUCATION CROSS-SUBSIDY, I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO THE IMPACT THAT’S GOING TO HAVE ON OUR SCHOOL COMMUNITIES. THAT IS UNIQUE THIS YEAR TO PREVIOUS YEARS WHERE WE’VE SEEN INCREASES IN OUR GENERAL EDUCATION FUNDING. AND THAT WILL AFFECT DIFFERENT SCHOOLS DIFFERENTLY. IF YOU ARE A SCHOOL OR A SCHOOL SYSTEM THAT HAS HAD A HIGHER POPULATION OF STUDENTS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS, YOU MAY SEE THAT THAT FREEZE ON THE SPECIAL EDUCATION CROSS-SUBSIDY HAS THAT 2% REALLY FEELING LIKE 2% IN A WAY THAT A SCHOOL DISTRICT OR A SCHOOL COMMUNITY THAT HAD PERHAPS A LOWER PERCENTAGE OF LOWER POPULATION OF STUDENTS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS HAS. AND SO THAT’S ONE THING I’M GOING TO BE LOOKING FOR IS JUST WHAT DIFFERENCE THAT DOWN PAYMENT’S GOING TO MAKE.>>SO IN A SENSE, THEY’RE GOING TO REALLY GET TO FEEL THIS 2%. THAT’S A BIG DEAL.>>THAT’S RIGHT. THAT 2%, THAT MEETING THAT COST OF INFLATION WILL FEEL LIKE 2% BECAUSE OF THE ATTENTION TO THAT SPECIAL EDUCATION CROSS-SUBSIDY.>>THERE’S BEEN A LOT OF CONCERN ABOUT SCHOOL SAFETY. CAN STUDENTS PUT THEIR FEARS TO REST WITH THE MONEY THAT WAS ALLOCATED TO INCREASE SCHOOL SAFETY?>>THE BEST WAY TO PUT YOUR CONFIDENCE IN YOUR SCHOOL IS TO GET TO KNOW YOUR SCHOOL. AND TO MAKE SURE THAT STUDENTS AND THEIR FAMILIES ARE BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS WITH THE EDUCATORS AND THE SCHOOL LEADERS IN THEIR SCHOOL. STUDENTS WHO FEEL SEEN AND HEARD AND WHO FEEL WELCOMED INTO THEIR SCHOOL ARE STUDENTS WHO FEEL SAFE AT SCHOOL. AND SO BEING ABLE TO CALL ATTENTION TO THE SORT OF RELATIONSHIPS THAT ARE GETTING BUILT AT THAT SCHOOL COMMUNITY IS OFTEN THE THING THAT PARENTS FEEL IN THEIR GUT IS — IS ONE OF THOSE THINGS THAT MAKES A PARENT FEEL COMFORTABLE AS WELL. WITH THEIR STUDENTS. HEARING — HEARING ABOUT THE SCHOOL DAY. HEARING HOW A STUDENT WAS ENGAGED IN THEIR SCHOOL DAY. PERHAPS A CONVERSATION THEY HAD WITH THEIR TEACHER. PERHAPS A CONVERSATION THEY HAD WITH THEIR SCHOOL PRINCIPAL OR THE PARAPROFESSIONAL WORKING IN THEIR CLASSROOM. THOSE ARE THE SORTS OF THINGS THAT WHEN PATIENT — PARENTS HEAR ABOUT THOSE RELATIONSHIPS GETTING BUILT, IT MAKES US REALLY EXCITED FOR THE SCHOOL EXPERIENCE OUR CHILDREN ARE INTERESTING.>>THERE’S GROWING AWARENESS. IMPORTANCE OF MENTAL HEALTH IN HELPING STUDENTS LEARN AND HELPING STUDENTS FEEL SAFE AT SCHOOL. WHAT IS BEING DONE TO IMPROVE ACCESS TO MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES FOR STUDENTS?>>YES. SO EDUCATORS AND SCHOOL LEADERS HAVE BEEN PAYING ATTENTION TO THE MENTAL HEALTH NEEDS OF OUR STUDENTS. IT IS PART OF THAT COMPREHENSIVE STRATEGY OF A STRONG TEACHING AND LEARNING ENVIRONMENT ABSOLUTELY PAYS ATTENTION TO THE ACADEMIC NEEDS OF STUDENTS, THE SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL NEEDS OF STUDENTS, AND THE SAFE AND WELCOMING NEEDS OF STUDENTS AND MENTAL HEALTH IS A PART OF THAT. AND WHAT I REALLY APPRECIATE IS THAT WE ARE JOINED BY A GREAT CROSS-SECTION OF MINNESOTANS WHO ALSO CARE DEEPLY ABOUT THE MENTAL HEALTH NEEDS OF OUR STUDENTS. AND SO I’M REALLY PROUD OF THE WORK OF THE DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES THIS PAC LEGISLATIVE SESSION WORKING ON BEHALF OF SCHOOL-BASED MENTAL HEALTH GRANTS AND TO INCREASE ACCESS TO SCHOOL-BASED MENTAL HEALTH GRANTS FOR OUR SCHOOL COMMUNITIES ACROSS THE STATE OF MINNESOTA. WE SEE THE APPRECIATE IN OUR SCHOOL COMMUNITIES FOR THOSE SCHOOL-BASED MENTAL HEALTH GRANTS, AND WE’RE SEEING THE WAY THEY’RE PAYING OFF FOR MEETING THE NEEDS OF OUR STUDENTS AS WELL.>>MINNESOTA HAS NOT DONE AS WELL AS OTHER STATES ON CLOSING THE ACHIEVEMENT GAP. WHAT STEPS ARE BEING TAKEN TO HELP MINORITY STUDENTS ACHIEVE BETTER RESULTS?>>SO WHEN WE LOOK AT THE SORT OF GAPS OUR STUDENTS HAVE IN THEIR ACCESS TO — ACCESS TO THOSE ACADEMIC NEEDS AND THOSE SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL NEEDS AND THE SAFE AND WELCOMING NEEDS THAT THEY HAVE, WE TAKE THAT VERY SERIOUSLY, AND EDUCATORS AND SCHOOL LEADERS ACROSS THE STATE TAKE THOSE SERIOUSLY. SO WE — WE ARE LOOKING AT SEVERAL THINGS, RIGHT? FIRST, EVERY STUDENT DESERVES AN ACCOMPLISHED TEACHER. AND SO WE ARE ABSOLUTELY GOING TO MAKE SURE THAT — AND ONE OF THE GOALS I HAVE IS TO EXPAND ACCESS TO ACCOMPLISHED TEACHING FOR ALL OF OUR STUDENTS ACROSS THE STATE OF MINNESOTA. THAT IS ONE THING THAT WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE. ALSO, MAKING SURE THAT WE ARE LOOKING AT THE NEEDS OUR STUDENTS HAVE IN MAKING SURE THAT WE’RE SETTING THAT STAGE FOR THAT HIGH QUALITY TEACHING AND LEARNING ENVIRONMENT, RIGHT? MAKING SURE THAT WE’RE MEETING THE STUDENTS’ ACADEMIC NEEDS AND TEACHING TO THE STATE STANDARDS THAT WE’VE ESTABLISHED FOR ALL OF OUR STUDENTS, AND MAKING SURE THAT WE’RE MEETING THE SAFE AND WELCOMING NEEDS OF OUR STUDENTS SO THAT EVERY STUDENT FEELS WELCOMED. AGAIN, THEY ARE BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS AT SCHOOL. THEY FEEL VALUED IN THEIR SCHOOL COMMUNITY. THOSE ARE CRITICAL COMPONENTS TO THAT HIGH QUALITY TEACHING AND LEARNING ENVIRONMENT THAT MEANS SO MUCH TO ME AND MEANS SO MUCH TO STUDENTS, FAMILIES AND EDUCATORS ACROSS THE STATE OF MINNESOTA. THE OTHER THING I WOULD LIKE TO SAY IS ONE OF THE THINGS I THINK NOTICED IS THAT WE HAVE SCHOOL COMMUNITIES THAT HAVE STARTED TO REALLY MAKE A DIFFERENCE AT CLOSING AND ELIMINATING THE GAPS THAT WE’RE SEEING IN STUDENT LEARNING. AND I WANT TO BE THAT AMPLIFIER OF THOSE STORIES. I WANT TO FIND OUT WHERE THINGS ARE WORKING, WHAT IS WORKING, AND I WANT TO BE THE PERSON WHO SHARES THAT OUT SO THAT SCHOOLS WHO MAY BE STRUGGLING WITH THAT SAME THING CAN LEARN FROM A SCHOOL THAT IS WORKING ON FIGURING IT OUT. I WANT TO BE THAT AMPLIFIER. I WANT TO GIVE YOU AN EXAMPLE OF SOMETHING ELSE I’VE LEARNED AS I HAVE HAD THE CHANCE TO BE IN DIFFERENT SCHOOL COMMUNITIES AND LEARN FROM SCHOOL LEADERS AND PRACTITIONERS. FOR EXAMPLE, IN RETHINKING WHAT A SECONDARY EXPERIENCE SHOULD LOOK LIKE FOR OUR STUDENTS. WE HAVE POCKETS OF SCHOOL COMMUNITIES INCUBATING IDEAS FOR CREATING MORE ENGAGING ENVIRONMENTS FOR OUR STUDENTS, WHETHER THAT IS EXPANDING CAREER AND TECHNICAL EDUCATION OPPORTUNITIES FOR OUR STUDENTS, EXPANDING PARTNERSHIPS IN THE COMMUNITY WITH — WITH DIFFERENT BUSINESSES AND SO STUDENTS CAN PURSUE INDUSTRY CREDENTIALS OR MENTORSHIPS, EXPANDING ACCESS TO HIGH QUALITY RIGOROUS COURSE WORK, SO THAT WE SEE THE SAME DIVERSITY IN OUR STUDENT BODY IN THOSE HIGH QUALITY RIGOROUS COURSES LIKE OUR ADVANCED PLACEMENT COURSES OR INTERNATIONAL BACCALAUREATE COURSES OR EVEN IN OUR COLLEGE IN THE SCHOOLS AND PSEO. WE HAVE SCHOOL DISTRICTS INDIEWBATING DIFFERENT IDEAS FOR WHAT RETHINKING THAT SECOND REASM EXPERIENCE COULD LOOK LIKE. I WANT TO LEARN WHAT SOME OF THOSE MOST CREATIVE IDEAS ARE, AND I WANT TO PULL THEM TOGETHER SO AS A STATE OF MINNESOTA WE CAN SAY THAT HERE’S AN EXAMPLE OF SOME REALLY HIGH QUALITY ENGAGING PRACTICES THAT REALLY MEET THE NEEDS OF ALL OF OUR STUDENTS, SO THAT WE ALL CAN LEARN FROM THEM AND SO THAT WE CAN ELIMINATE THOSE GAPS.>>GOVERNOR WALZ CAMPAIGNED ON MAKING MINNESOTA THE EDUCATION STATE. IN ADDITION TO CLOSING THE ACHIEVEMENT GAP, WHAT OTHER CHALLENGES REMAIN THAT WOULD PREVENT MINNESOTA FROM ONCE AGAIN ACHIEVING ITS STATUS AS AN EDUCATION LEADER?>>YEAH. YOU KNOW, WHEN I HEAR THAT WE ARE GOING TO BE THE EDUCATION STATE AND WHEN I THINK OF THE ROLE I GET TO PLAY IN MAKING US THE EDUCATION STATE AGAIN, I START WITH THAT TEACHING AND LEARNING ENVIRONMENT, RIGHT? AT THE VERY — AT THE BEGINNING OF THE DAY AND AT THE END OF THE DAY, THAT TEACHING AND LEARNING ENVIRONMENT BETWEEN STUDENTS AND EDUCATOR MATTERS MORE THAN ANYTHING. AND SO I WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT WE ARE DOING EVERYTHING WE CAN TO INVEST IN THAT TEACHING AND LEARNING ENVIRONMENT. WE MAKE SURE THAT THAT TEACHING AND LEARNING ENVIRONMENT, STUDENT AND EDUCATOR IS SURROUNDED BY SCHOOL LEADERS WHO ARE SUPPORTING THAT TEACHING AND LEARNING ENVIRONMENT, WHERE FAMILY ENGAGEMENT IS AN AUTH AUTHENTIC PART OF THAT TEACHING AND LEARNING ENVIRONMENT AND THAT WE ARE REALLY MAKING SURE THAT FAMILIES ARE RECOGNIZED AND ARE HONORED FOR THE ROLE THEY PLAY AS FIRST EDUCATORS AND AS PARTNERS IN THAT HIGH QUALITY TEACHING AND LEARNING ENVIRONMENT AND THAT THAT TEACHING AND LEARNING ENVIRONMENT, THE SCHOOL LEADERS, THOSE FAMILY ENGAGEMENT OPPORTUNITIES WE CREATE, ARE ALSO SURROUNDED BY EVERYONE WHO CARES DEEPLY ABOUT THE ROLE OUR PUBLIC SCHOOLS PLAY IN THEIR COMMUNITY ABOUT THE FUTURE THAT WE ARE CREATING IN THAT TEACHING AND LEARNING ENVIRONMENT. AND SO I LIKE TO START THERE, AND I THINK WHEN WE PUT OUR FOCUS ON THE ACADEMIC NEEDS OF OUR STUDENTS AND THAT TEACHING AND LEARNING ENVIRONMENT, THERE ARE SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL NEEDS AND THEIR SAFE AND WELCOMING NEEDS IN THAT SCHOOL ENVIRONMENT, THAT PUTS US ON THE ROAD TO BEING THE EDUCATION STATE AGAIN.>>COMMISSIONER RICKER, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR TIME TODAY.>>THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR INVITING ME. AND HAPPY BACK TO SCHOOL, EVERYONE! ♪♪>>LAST MAY, LAWMAKERS AND GOVERNOR WALZ AGREED ON A BUDGET TO FUND THE STATE’S EDUCATION EXPENSES FOR THE NEXT TWO YEARS. AS KIDS ARE NOW HEADING BACK TO SCHOOL, SENATOR CARLA NELSON, CHAIR OF THE SENATE EDUCATION COMMITTEE, JOINS ME TO TALK MORE ABOUT OUR SCHOOLS. THANKS FOR BEING HERE.>>HI SHANNON, GREAT TO BE HERE.>>AS FAMILIES INCLUDING MINE GET THEIR KIDS READY TO GO BACK TO THE CLASSROOM THIS FALL, WILL THEY NOTICE ANY CHANGES?>>I THINK THERE’S ALWAYS CHANGES. EVERY SCHOOL YEAR IS A NEW YEAR. REGARDING THINGS FROM THE STATE LEGISLATURE, THERE ARE SOME VERY WELCOME CHANGES. EDUCATION IS THE LARGEST PERCENT OF OUR STATE BUDGET, ABOUT 41%. THIS SESSION, WE WERE ABLE TO DELIVER, I THINK, WHAT I CALL THE BRED AND BUT — BREAD AND BUTTER FUNDING FOR OUR SCHOOLS, WHICH IS THAT PER PUPIL FORMULA, IT’S THE HALF THAT TREATS EVERY KID THE SAME NO MATTER WHAT THEIR ZIP CODE. EVERY STUDENT RECEIVES A CERTAIN AMOUNT OF FUNDING FROM THE STATE FOR THOSE SCHOOLS. AND SO I THINK THAT’S REALLY IMPORTANT. IT’S THE MOST FLEXIBLE. IT LETS SCHOOL DISTRICTS DO WHAT REALLY THEY CAN DO BEST WHICH IS A VERY MUCH LOCAL DETERMINED DECISIONS ON HOW BEST TO SERVE ALL KIDS. SO THAT’S IMPORTANT. BUT IN ADDITION, ON TOP OF THAT, OF COURSE THERE’S THE OTHER FUNDING WHICH IS ABOUT ANOTHER 40%, WHICH ARE CALLED STATE AID. AND SO THOSE INCREASED AS WELL. AND ONE OF THOSE KEY DRIVERS WERE SPECIAL EDUCATION COSTS.>>AND THAT GOES TO MY SECOND QUESTION ACTUALLY, BECAUSE SPECIAL EDUCATION EXPENSES HAVE CONTINUED TO OUTPACE THE MONEY THAT SCHOOLS HAVE HAD TO PUT TOWARDS IT, THEY’VE BEEN PULLING FUNDS FROM THEIR GENERAL FUNDS TO — WHICH IS CALLED THE CROSS-SUBSIDY, TO PAY FOR SPECIAL EDUCATION EXPENSES. THIS BUDGET ALLOWS THERE TO ESSENTIALLY BE A FREEZE ON THAT, MEANING THAT 2% IS REALLY MONEY THAT THE SCHOOLS CAN SPEND HOW THEY CHOOSE TO.>>THAT’S AT LEAST WHAT I UNDERSTAND, IS THAT TRUE AND WHAT DOES THAT REALLY MEAN FOR OUR SCHOOLS?>>SURE. AND YOU’VE APTLY DESCRIBED WHAT CROSS-SUBSIDY IS. ONE OF THE BIG PROBLEMS IS, THE FEDS HAVE NEVER KEPT THEIR PROMISE TO PAY 40% OF SPECIAL EDUCATION COSTS, SO THEY MANDATE A LOT. AND THEY DON’T PAY FOR WHAT THEY MANDATE OR THEY PROMISED, AND THEN OUR SCHOOL DISTRICTS ARE LEFT EITHER WITH THE 2% PER PUPIL FORMULA INCREASE OR THE OTHER STATE AIDS LEFT TO USE THOSE FUNDS TO FILL IN WHAT THE FEDS HAVEN’T DONE. AND AS YOU SAID, THE COSTS HAVE BEEN ESCALATING SIGNIFICANTLY AS WELL. AND BOTH OF THOSE COMBINED HAVE CAUSED A CRUNCH FOR OUR SCHOOLS. THIS PAST LEGISLATIVE SESSION, AS WE DID IN THE PREVIOUS BUDGET, WE PUT MORE MONEY INTO SPECIAL EDUCATION, AND THIS YEAR PARTICULARLY, THAT FREEZE ON SPECIAL EDUCATION COSTS. IT’S A FREEZE, BUT IT DOESN’T REALLY ADDRESS THE COST DRIVERS. AND THAT’S SOMETHING WE’RE REALLY GOING TO HAVE TO TACKLE IN THE LEGISLATURE. AS FAR AS THE COST INCREASING SO SIGNIFICANTLY, AND PARTICULARLY SOME OF THE CHALLENGES IT PUTS ON OUR SCHOOLS WHEN A STUDENT CHOOSE TO ENROLL IN A DIFFERENT SCHOOL BUT THE RESIDENT SCHOOL PAYS THE BILL. SO THAT’S SOMETHING WE NEED TO STILL WORK ON. BUT THIS IS A GOOD STEP. IT’S A STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION. TO TRY AND LOWER, FREEZE, THAT CROSS-SUBSIDY, AND WE HAVE TO LOOK AT BETTER WAYS TO FUND SPECIAL EDUCATION AND MAKE SURE ALL OF OUR KIDS GET A GREAT EDUCATION AND A FAIR AND APPROPRIATE EDUCATION.>>I’D LIKE TO TURN TO SCHOOL SAFETY. YOU ADVOCATED FOR AND WON AN INCREASE IN SCHOOL SAFETY FUNDING. IT’S $30 MILLION. HOW WILL THAT MONEY BE DIVVIED UP? AND WHAT WILL IT BE SPENT ON?>>YES, TWO EXCELLENT QUESTIONS THERE. ONE, IT’S ON THE PER PUPIL TYPE BASIS. SO IT’S EVERY STUDENT BRINGS A CERTAIN AMOUNT OF MONEY TO THE SCHOOL DISTRICT FOR THAT SCHOOL SAFETY. SO IT’S EQUITABLE ACROSS THE STATE. AND ALSO, IT’S VERY IMPORTANT BECAUSE THESE ARE GOING TO BE LOCALLY DETERMINED DECISIONS ON WHAT ARE THE SAFETY NEEDS, AND HOW SHOULD THAT MONEY BE SPENT TO BETTER KEEP ALL OF OUR KIDS SAFE. AND SO IT IS CALLED A SAFE AND SECURE SCHOOLS FUNDING, AND THE LEGISLATION TALKS ABOUT WHAT THAT MONEY CAN BE SPENT FOR. SO IT CAN BE SPENT FOR BASICALLY TWO VERY BROAD CATEGORIES. ONE IS KIND OF THOSE FACILITY COSTS. MAKING THE BUILDINGS SAFER. MAKING THE CAMPUSES SAFER. THOSE TYPE OF THINGS. SINGLE POINT ENTRY IS A GREAT EXAMPLE. MONEY CAN BE SPENT FOR THOSE, WHAT WE COULD WOULD CALL HARD COSTS AND THEY ALSO CAN BE SPENT FOR THOSE ALL-IMPORTANT COSTS THAT ARE THE COSTS INSIDE THE BUILDING, THE PEOPLE COSTS. THAT WOULD BE THE COUNSELORS, THE SOCIAL WORKERS, THE NURSES, THE PSYCHOLOGISTS, THE SCHOOL RESOURCE OFFICERS. AND AGAIN, THESE ARE VERY LOCALLY DETERMINED DECISIONS BECAUSE EVERY SCHOOL DISTRICT’S DIFFERENT AND EVERY SCHOOL IS DIFFERENT. BUT THE GOAL IS TO MAKE SURE OUR SCHOOLS ARE SAFE AND SECURE, BOTH ON THE OUTSIDE AND THE INSIDE.>>ONE OTHER THING THAT YOU’VE ADVOCATED FOR, WE’VE TALKED ABOUT IT BEFORE, IS THE P-TECH PROGRAM WHICH STANDS FOR PATHWAYS IN TECHNOLOGY, EARLY COLLEGE HIGH SCHOOL IN MINNESOTA. IT ESTABLISHES PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS TO PREPARE STUDENTS FOR HIGH SKILLED JOBS IN IDENTIFIED GROWTH INDUSTRIES. HAVE SCHOOLS BEEN ABLE TO GET THE PROGRAMS OFF THE GROUND YET? AND WHAT IS THE HOPE FOR THIS PROGRAM?>>YES. IT IS VERY EXCITING, AND IT’S INNOVATIVE BECAUSE THERE MUST BE THAT INDUSTRY PARTNER. THERE MUST BE A LOCAL SCHOOL DISTRICT. AND THEN A COMMUNITY COLLEGE THAT IS INVOLVED. AND THOSE DISCUSSIONS HAVE STARTED. AND THEY HAVE TO MAKE SURE THAT THERE’S ALIGNMENT, ALL THE WAY THROUGH, SO THAT THE STUDENTS CAN ENTER IN GRADE 9, GO THROUGH GRADES 9, 10, 11, 12 AND THE NEXT TWO YEARS, AND IT’S A COMPETENCY-BASED EDUCATION, SO THEY PROGRESS AT THEIR OWN SPEED. IT IS FREE, ALL THE WAY THROUGH THE TWO YEARS OF POST-HIGH SCHOOL.>>OKAY.>>YES. AND STUDENTS GRADUATE WITH A INDUSTRY CREDENTIAL, A A.A. DEGREE, AND A JOB. SO THE INDUSTRY PARTNER, PARTNERS WITH THESE STUDENTS. THEY’RE AN EQUAL PARTNER IN THIS THREE-WAY PARTNERSHIPS. ON THE JOB TRAINING, THROUGHOUT THE TIME, AND THEN THEY ARE ALSO FIRST IN LINE FOR A JOB.>>SO THOSE TECHNICAL JOBS, THOSE INDUSTRY JOBS, THOSE EMERGING FIELDS THAT MAYBE WERE NOT EVEN ENTIRELY SURE WHAT THEY MEAN, THIS IS GOING TO POTENTIALLY GET THAT WORKFORCE UP AND READY, READY FOR THAT WORK?>>IT HAS. AND IT HAS DONE THIS IN OTHER STATES. IT’S BEEN HIGHLY SUCCESSFUL AND IN OTHER COUNTRIES, OTHER COUNTRIES AS WELL. AND SO WE’RE VERY EXCITED ABOUT IT. WE KNOW THAT IT WILL ACHIEVE GREAT RESULTS AND AGAIN, THESE ARE HIGH PAYING JOBS. JOBS IN DEMAND. AND MAKING SURE THAT OUR KIDS ARE READY.>>MENTAL HEALTH IS AN ONGOING CONCERN IN SOCIETY. AND TO A CERTAIN EXTENT, IT RELATES TO SCHOOL SAFETY. I NOTICED THAT THE AGES OF MENTAL HEALTH EDUCATION HAVE BEEN EXPANDED IN THIS — IN THIS — IN THE LAST LEGISLATIVE SESSION NOW TO BEGIN IN GRADE 4. THEY DID BEGIN IN GRADE 6. AND NOW IT IS A REQUIREMENT INSTEAD OF A RECOMMENDATION. I ALSO NOTICED THAT THERE’S FUNDING FOR TEACHERS TO RECEIVE TRAINING IN SUICIDE PREVENTION. WHAT IS THE — WHAT IS THE GOAL? WHAT WILL RESULT FROM THIS ADDITIONAL EMPHASIS ON MENTAL HEALTH?>>WELL, THE GOAL IS TO MAKE SURE THAT OUR STUDENTS ARE HEALTHY. THEIR WELL-BEING AND THEIR MENTAL HEALTH IS STRONG. AND IT’S IMPORTANT THAT MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES BE ADDRESSED EARLY ON. AND WE ALL HAVE MENTAL HEALTH. AND SOMETIMES WE HAVE A MENTAL ILLNESS, JUST LIKE WE HAVE OTHER TYPES OF ILLNESSES, WHETHER IT BE CANCER OR DIABETES. AND SOMETIMES THERE’S A LOT OF BARRIERS TO ALLOWING OR GETTING PEOPLE ACCESS TO THE SERVICES AND SUPPORTS THAT ARE NEEDED. SCHOOLS ARE WHERE KIDS ARE. SO ONE AVENUE IS TO MAKE SURE THAT THOSE SUPPORTS ARE IN OUR SCHOOLS. SO SOME OF THOSE BARRIERS ARE REMOVED. BUT ALSO, THE ASPECT OF GETTING THE SERVICES EARLY ON, AND PREVENTING MUCH GREATER SERVICES OR HAVING TO FACE MUCH GREATER NEEDS LATER ON. SO THE REAL KEY IS EARLY SUPPORT, EARLY IDENTIFICATION, AND EARLY INTERVENTION AND SUPPORT IS NEEDED.>>NOW, YOU MENTIONED CONTINUING TO WORK ON SPECIAL EDUCATION AND FUNDING. WHAT ARE SOME OTHER CONCERNS, AREAS, THAT THE LEGISLATURE CAN TACKLE IN THIS NEXT UPCOMING SESSION?>>SURE, SURE, AND I DO WANT TO MENTION AS YOUR PREVIOUS QUESTION, REGARDING A SUICIDE PREVENTION –>>OH, YES.>>THESE ARE STAGGERING NUMBERS, THE NUMBERS OF YOUNG CHILDREN, NOT JUST IN OUR HIGH SCHOOLS AND MIDDLE SCHOOLS, BUT IN OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS WHO HAVE HAD SOME THOUGHTS OF SUICIDE. AND WE’VE SEEN THE NUMBERS INCREASE DRAMATICALLY. AND SO ONE OF THE — ANOTHER PROVISION THAT WAS PART OF THE SENATE PACKAGE WAS MAKE SURE THAT ALL OF OUR TEACHERS HAVE WORLD-CLASS TRAINING IN SUICIDE PREVENTION. AND THIS WILL HAPPEN IN MINNESOTA. WE ANTICIPATE GOOD RESULTS. AND — AND REALLY, IT’S LIFE SAVING. AND TEACHERS ARE SO IMPORTANT. TEACHERS ARE SOMETIMES THE — THE NUMBER ONE — WELL, WE KNOW THAT TEACHERS ARE –>>HUGELY INFLUENTIAL. YES, THEY CAN BE. ACTUALLY, I’LL HAVE YOU BACK LATER ON. WE’RE GOING TO STOP THERE. BUT I WANT TO THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR TIME.>>SURE. THANK YOU. ♪♪>>EACH YEAR STATE FAIR-GOERS ARE ASKED TO TAKE AN OPINION POLL ON PRESSING STATE ISSUES. QUESTIONS ARE DEVELOPED FROM AMONG THE NUMEROUS BILLS PROPOSED BY LAWMAKERS AND REPRESENT PRESSING ISSUES AND CONCERNS THAT REMAIN UNRESOLVED. YOU’LL FIND THE MINNESOTA SENATE BOOTH AND THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES BOOTH INSIDE THE EDUCATION BUILDING ON COSGROVE STREET AT THE STATE FAIRGROUNDS. IN ADDITION TO MAKING YOUR VIEWS KNOWN, BY TAKING THE SEPARATE POLLS OFFERED BY THE SENATE AND THE HOUSE, YOU MAY HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO VISIT WITH ONE OR MORE LAWMAKERS FREQUENTLY ON HAND TO LISTEN TO THE CONCERNS OF FAIR-GOERS. THE EDUCATION BUILDING ALSO HOUSES FOODS OF SOME OF MINNESOTA’S NON-PROFIT AND EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS, OFFERS ROBOTICS DEMONSTRATIONS BY MIDDLE AND HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS, AND DISPLAYS ART, WRITING, AND CRAFT PROJECTS DEMONSTRATING THE WORK OF SOME OF MINNESOTA’S MOST TALENTED KIDS. IF YOU HAPPEN TO FIND YOURSELF AT THE GREAT MINNESOTA GET-TOGETHER THIS SUMMER, DON’T FORGET TO STOP BY THE MINNESOTA SENATE BOOTH IN THE EDUCATION BUILDING TO PROVIDE YOUR PERSPECTIVE ON THIS YEAR’S STATE FAIR OPINION POLL. ♪♪>>ON THE CAPITOL GROUNDS IS A UNIQUE MEMORIAL DEDICATED TO THE MEN AND WOMEN WHO BUILT MINNESOTA. PAUL MANDELL EXPLAINS. THE CAPITOL GROUNDS HAVE MEMORIALS TO PEOPLE AND EVENTS BUT THERE WAS A MEMORIAL PLACED HERE IN 2016 THAT IS TO THE WORKERS OF MINNESOTA. WHAT’S THE STORY BEHIND THIS MEMORIAL?>>DAVE ROE ENVISIONED THIS FROM THE VERY START. WELL BACK INTO THE EARLY ’90s –>>DAVE ROE IS –>>HE WAS PRESIDENT OF THE AFL-CIO FOR A NUMBER OF YEARS. HE’S SINCE DIED JUST TWO YEARS AGO. HE HAD AN IDEA FOR AN INTERPRETIVE CENTER. WHEN THAT ONE WENT BY THE WAYSIDE, WE CONVINCED HIM TO DO A MEMORIAL INSTEAD, ELIMINATING ALL THE NEEDS FOR PERSONNEL AND SUCH. SO WE CHOSE THIS SITE. ORIGINALLY WE HAD JUST A BLANK WALL, BUT WE KNEW THERE WOULD BE SOME ARTWORK ON IT, SO IT WAS GOING TO BE A GARDEN EVENTUALLY WE HAVE THREE GARDENS ALONG CEDAR STREET HERE. WE HAVE THE WOMEN’S SUFFRAGE GARDEN AND THE WORKERS’ GARDEN SO WE PUT IN THE GARDEN AND WE HAD A BLANK WALL AND THEN IN ’15, WE CHOSE AN ARTIST WHO DOES MOSAICS AND CRAIG DAVID, HE’S A WEST-SIDER, HE’S DONE A NUMBER OF MOSAICS ON THE WEST SIDE, HE CAME UP WITH SOME CONCEPTS THAT WE SAID, LET’S MAKE IT SOMEWHAT METAPHORICAL BUT MINNESOTAN, CLEARLY MINNESOTAN, AND THE WHOLE IDEA WAS TO REPRESENT ALL WORKERS, NOT JUST UNION BUT ALL WORKERS, HOUSEWIVES, TEACHERS, DAYCARE PROVIDERS, BRICKLAYERS, ALL THE CARPENTERS AND TRADES AND STUFF LIKE THAT. BUT WE DIDN’T WANT TO GET SO SPECIFIC SO THAT YOU WOULD HAVE TO MAKE SURE YOU INCLUDED EVERYONE OR THEY WOULD BE OFFENDED. SO IT WAS MEANT TO BE METAPHORICAL.>>THE IDEA BEING THAT EVERYBODY COULD FIND THEMSELVES IN THE MOSAICS.>>EXACTLY. AND SO HE DID SEVERAL SKETCHES AND THE ONE THAT THE COMMITTEE CHOSE, AS YOU SEE, HAS THE SUN RISING OVER A LAKE, IT HAS A RIVER REPRESENTED WITH TWO CITIES, IT HAS THE FARM FIELDS, IT HAS FORESTS, IT HAS AGRICULTURAL, IT HAS LAKE SUPERIOR WITH THE ORE BOAT AND SO HE LAID THAT OUT IN HIS STUDIO DOWN IN ZUMBRO FALLS. HE HAD A 40-FOOT-LONG LIFE-SIZED PIECE AND THEN HE CUT ALL THE PIECES AND EVERYTHING. REASSEMBLED IT UP HERE. SO IT REPRESENTS OBVIOUSLY ALL THE DIFFERENT TRADES AND WORKERS OVER TIME. IT’S GOT MAYO REPRESENTED WITH THE MEDICAL. IT HAS PRESS REPRESENTED WITH A NEWSPAPER AND CAMERA. IT HAS SOMEONE THAT IS A SINGER AND BECAUSE OF THE COLORS, SOMEONE — WHEN THEY FIRST GOT IT UP HERE SAID, OH, PRINCE, EVEN THOUGH IT WASN’T INTENDED TO BE PRINCE. THEY HAVE A BRIDGE THAT TAKES A WHOLE VILLAGE TO HOLD IT UP. THEY’VE GOT ONE CONSTRUCTION WORKER WITH THEIR HARD HAT AND THEN A WOMAN AND THEN A NUMBER OF PEOPLE HOLDING UP THE OTHER ENDS, SPANNING THE RIVER. SO, AGAIN, THE INCORPORATION OF ALL KINDS OF PEOPLE, ALL DIFFERENT WORKERS, AND IT HAS, ON THE TWO ENDS, IT HAS MOURNING SCENES, M-O-U-R-N-I-N-G, WITH NATIVE AMERICANS MOURNING THOSE WHO DIED BECAUSE THERE ARE A NUMBER OF THOSE WHO DIED ON THE JOB. THEN IT HAS A QUOTE FROM LANGSTON HUGHES, A QUOTE FROM HUBERT HUMPHREY THAT WAS TAKEN FROM HIS SPEECH AT THE AFL-CIO ABOUT HAVING PEERS. HAS THE DEDICATION QUOTE FROM WALTER MONDALE. MONDALE IN HIS BIOGRAPHY JOKED THAT YOU USUALLY DON’T GET YOUR NAME ON A MEMORIAL IN THE CAPITOL GROUNDS UNTIL YOU’RE DEAD TEN YEARS AND HE GOT HIS NAME ON –>>HE GOT HIS NAME A LITTLE BIT EARLIER. [Laughter]>>AND HE TALKED ABOUT THIS BEING A SACRED SPACE. HE WAS HERE FOR THE DEDICATION OF THE WALL ORIGINALLY, AND THEN HE WAS HERE FOR THE RE-DEDICATION IN 2016.>>ON THE SIDE OF THE MURAL, THERE IS A LIST OF FOUR MAJOR EVENTS THAT HAD SIGNIFICANT LOSS OF LIFE IN MINNESOTA. WHY INCLUDE THOSE ON THIS PIECE?>>THOSE ARE THE FOUR EVENTS WHERE THERE WERE A NUMBER OF LIVES LOST ALL AT ONCE. THE CAYUNA FLOOD, THE WASHBURN FIRE — WASHBURN MILL FIRE, EDMUND FITZGERALD AND THE HINCKLEY FIRE, AND SO — IN THE HINCKLEY FIRE, IT WAS WORKERS, CITIZENS, WOMEN AND CHILDREN, EVERYTHING. SO THOSE THEY WANTED TO RECOGNIZE IN SPECIAL WAYS.>>WHAT IS THE MESSAGE BEHIND THIS MEMORIAL?>>UNIQUELY, WE’VE HAD OTHER MEMORIALS TO WORKERS, THE PEACE OFFICERS, FIREFIGHTERS AND TRANSPORTATION WORKERS IN THE D.O.T. BUILDING. WE WANTED TO HAVE ONE THAT RECOGNIZED ALL WORK, ALL WORKERS, BE IT UNION OR NON-UNION, WHO HAVE CONTRIBUTED TO MAKE MINNESOTA WHAT IT IS TODAY. OVER TIME, THROUGH THE CENTURIES, WHETHER IT WOMAN, MAN, WHATEVER RACE, CREED, WHATEVER YOUR JOB IS, THAT YOU’VE ALL CONTRIBUTED TO MAKING MINNESOTA THE GREAT PLACE IT IS TODAY. THIS IS PROBABLY ONE OF THE MORE VISITED ONES OTHER THAN THE VETERANS’ MEMORIALS WHERE A LOT OF THE VETERANS COME WITH THEIR FAMILIES AND THREE GENERATIONS BECAUSE PEOPLE COME HERE, I’VE COME HERE AND I’VE CHOSEN THE PERSON WITH THE HARD HAT BY THE BRIDGE BECAUSE I WORK BY THE CAPITOL, I WORK ON CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS, AND I WEAR A HARD HAT.>>SO YOU’VE ACTUALLY PICKED OUT A PERSON TO IDENTIFY WITH PERSONALLY.>>YES, EXACTLY.>>AND THAT’S THE MESSAGE OF THIS, THAT WE’RE ALL SUPPOSED TO BE ABLE TO FIND OURSELVES IN THIS MOSAIC.>>WE WANTED TO MAKE IT SOMEWHAT ABSTRACT SO EVERYONE CAN SEE THEMSELVES IN SOME WAY, SHAPE OR FORM. [ DRAMATIC MUSIC ] ♪♪>>JOIN US AGAIN NEXT WEEK FOR OUR SPECIAL STATE FAIR EDITION OF “CAPITOL REPORT.” I’M SHANNON LOEHRKE, AND ON BEHALF OF ALL OF US AT SENATE MEDIA SERVICES, THANKS FOR WATCHING.

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