Gov. Tim Walz released today an extensive plan for education in Minnesota that encompasses seven priorities under what he’s calling the “Due North” plan.

This comes just a day before the governor is set to release his proposed budget for the next two years.

The seven priorities include:

  1.  Meet the needs of students during and after the COVID-19 pandemic
    There will be a priority on in-person learning, mental health services and a one-time investment in schools for pupil loss revenue.
  2. Every student receives a world-class education
    This focuses on ensuring academic standards meet modern needs and to expand learning opportunities.
  3. Every student learns in a safe and nurturing environment
    There will be a focus on student relationship building.
  4. Every student learns in a classroom with caring and qualified teachers
    Launch and expand programs to increase quality teacher candidates and then retain teachers with support.
  5. Expand opportunities for Students of Color and Indigenous Students
    Establish a new center at the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) to address systematic racism.
  6. Expand access to opportunities for students in Greater Minnesota
    Expand options for rural students and create geographic equity in school finance.
  7. Fund 21st Century Education
    Prioritize funding for students who need it the most and to freeze cross-subsidy expenses to districts. 

View the plan.

MREA has been advocating for many of the priorities Gov. Walz outlined today in his Due North 7-point plan. Addressing the immediate issue of lost funding to school districts that experienced a loss of pupils and compensatory aid is a shared priority. MREA has consistently advocated for finding solutions to put quality teachers, specifically teachers of colors in rural classrooms. Closing the funding inequities between rural and metro schools is the driving factor in our advocacy.

“The Governor’s Due North plan shares many focal points of concern for MREA,” MREA Executive Director Bob Indihar said. “We appreciate what Gov. Walz is trying to do for students.”

The plan includes actions to support students during and after the COVID-19 pandemic, reform school financing, expand opportunities for students in Greater Minnesota and build the most qualified and diverse teaching workforce in the nation, Walz said.

“As a former classroom teacher for over 20 years, I’ve seen firsthand how a high-quality education shapes students’ lives for years to come,” Gov. Walz said. “The Due North Education Plan guides us toward a future where every child receives a high-quality education, no matter their race or zip code.”