MREA applauds Governor Dayton for addressing the educational achievement and opportunity gap of Minnesota’s American Indian Students (AMI) by proposing an expansion of Success for the Future. This expansion is called for in the 2015 MREA Platform.
Minnesota’s AMI students have the lowest graduation rate and the slowest growth in that graduation rate of all ethnic/racial groups. Minnesota is dead last in the nation in AMI graduation. Learn more about this issue.
MREA formed an AMI Advisory Committee because 67 percent of Minnesota’s AMI students attend public schools in Greater Minnesota. Representatives of 15 school districts, 4 Tribal Education Directors and one BIA school attended a recent meeting of this Committee. View the agenda.
Commissioner Cassellius addressed the group assembled via interactive video. She stated that this is the first effort to increase funding for Success for the Future in 20 years. This proposal came from three meetings she had held with Tribal Leaders and Tribal Nations Education Committee (TNEC) and the Governor’s commitment to equal opportunity for all children. She urged the group to support the Governor’s proposal and to seek additional funding so a concentration factor can be added to Success for the Future.
Sam Walseth, MREA Director of Legislative Action, also joined the group’s discussion via interactive video. He urged those in attendance to contact their legislators asking them to support this expansion of Success for the Future as one of their top priorities for the region. In these letters, email, and personal visits, he recommended that everyone: (View a sample letter.)
- Explain the achievement gap
- Tell what you will do with the funds
- Be willing to tie Success for the Future to the World’s Best Workforce Accountability provisions
- Conclude that expansion of Success for the Future is a top priority for your school district and community.
Due to the construction at the capitol, legislators, especially Senators, have stated they wish to meet with constituents on Fridays in their home districts. Take them up on this offer. Arrange meetings with AMI students, parents and district educators to convey these messages of support for the expansion ofSuccess for the Future directly and personally.
MREA has the following resources for you to advocate for the expansion of Success for the Future for your AMI students:
- Two page “Issue Brief” with charts, maps and text explaining the issue and solution. View the issue sheet.
- A model letter to put on your letterhead and personalize
- An interactive map so you can see the current recipients of Success for the Future who would be assured of stable funding and the 35 districts proposed for expansion of Success for the Future
- The Governor’s Budget Message for Success for the Future (See 26-27)
It’s now up to you to become the Voice of Greater Minnesota Education and act on behalf of your AMI students.