Roughly half of students enrolling in kindergarten are not ready says Sen. Katie Sieben. That’s why she, Sen. John Hoffman, and other DFL Senators are making a bill to provide free preschool education for all kids one of the first six bills they will introduce this session.
Parents would have the option of enrolling their child in the “4K for Kids” program at no charge. More information about it here.
Nearly all of the initial bills to be introduced focused on education and children in one way or another.
Besides the free preschool proposal, the DFL Senate majority caucus is proposing:
Emergency flood relief for the dozens of Minnesota counties that were hit by flooding this summer.
Free two year tuition at any Minnesota state community or technical college for new high school graduates. Majority Leader Sen. Tom Bakk says the number one request he gets from businesses across the state is not to cut taxes, but to improve the pool of young workers businesses in the state can hire. Bakk says businesses are facing a large number of retirements in the coming years.
2015 Child Protection Bill – which pursues from the Governor’s Task Force on the Protection of Children.
The Minnesota Rural Health Professional Loan Forgiveness Program which revives a program that forgives student loans to doctors and dentists who work in rural areas. Bakk says businesses won’t move to areas that don’t have doctors and dentists.
“Earn while you learn” – which is a twist on the old idea of apprenticeships. Students are paid to work at a trade while they go to school.
Bakk says the exact cost of all the bills is not known, but he says they will not require a tax increase. He also says transportation will be a priority for the session. Sen. Scott Dibble (DFL) says his transportation proposal will be unveiled next week.
Video Above: Senators John Hoffman and Katie Sieben explain the “4K for Kids” proposal and answer a question about it.
Video below: Entire DFL Senate majority press conference on the initial six bills of the 2015 Session