Mark Dayton : Education is critical to Minnesota’s future and how to pay for it.

Last week we heard at the Governor Candidate’s Education Debate, that Minnesota enrolls 1 in 3, compared to 1 in 7 nationally for early childhood education.  Countless studies seem to indicate it’s huge advantage that pays off later in life.  I start there with Mark Dayton.  (Partial transcript, there’s more in the video.)


Dayton : “I volunteered in a Head Start Program my Senior year in college, 1968-69, it was known back then that Head Start made a tremendous difference in school readiness, for the children who went through that experience, and nationwide it’s less than half of the children who are eligible for Head Start today, that can be funded, and in Minnesota it’s even worse than that it’s about a third.”


How do we explain that?


Dayton : “Lack of commitment, lack of money.”


Pawlenty says he will never cut into education–how do you explain that?


Dayton : “I don’t know what he’s referring to, because Minnesota 2020 says that the average student aide has been cut by $1300 dollars per pupil, in Governor Pawlenty’s two terms, and of course the colleges and universities in this state have been devastated by cuts.


Pawlenty ridiculously said when he proposed to cut in the last session, it if hadn’t been for the federal mandates he would have gladly cut even more out of higher education.  


MNSCU System (Minnesota State Colleges and Universities), Mankato State has been cut 14% the faculty for the next year.  You hear that all over the tuitions, we have the third highest tuition for our  two year public colleges of  any state  in the nation.  We have the top ten in our universities and MNSCU System state the university of Minnesota 50% higher tuition than the surrounding 4 states and 1/3 higher than the next highest state which is  Wisconsin’s.


 I don’t  know what Governor Pawlenty is referring to, but he has cut education in real dollars and relative to other states very badly.”


We then went on to examine how to pay for it.


Dayton : “Make the rich pay their fare share of taxes.”


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