Gov. Tim Walz's school spending plan has racial equity focus


January 26, 2021

Glen Stubbe, Star Tribune

Gov. Tim Walz spoke at the Capitol on Jan. 15. On Monday, he rolled out an ambitious education proposal.

Improving the public school experience for students of color, and helping all students and schools come back from devastation wrought by the pandemic, are the major goals of an education proposal that Gov. Tim Walz outlined Monday.

"It might be easy to say, well, we can't do much now, we're focused on COVID, we don't have the resources," Walz said at a news conference in St. Paul. But with racial inequities laid more bare than ever by the pandemic and last year's killing of George Floyd, Walz said, failure to tackle them together "would be exactly the wrong solution."

Over decades, those persistent inequities have left Minnesota with some of the widest gaps in educational outcomes between white and nonwhite students. Even as Walz asks state legislators to steer new money toward relieving financial burdens and student dislocation brought on by the pandemic, his plan also makes a big investment in programs and policies aimed squarely at the achievement gap.


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