Legislators seek consensus on early-education scholarships
The contentious battle over how best to educate Minnesota’s youngest learners is shifting in a new direction after Gov. Mark Dayton for now abandoned his bid for universal state-paid preschool.
A bipartisan group of legislators is pressing for a cheaper option of expanding the state’s early-learning scholarship program.
State Sen. Melisa Franzen, DFL-Edina, wants to expand the age of children served by scholarships beyond 3- and 4-year-olds to kids as young as birth. The program also would prioritize children who are in foster care or child protection, or who have teen or homeless parents. The overall aim is to reduce disparities in kindergarten readiness for children of color or those in low-income families.