Friday, September 05, 2014

Great Report.  The Center for Rural Policy and Development based in St. Peter has done a wealth of wonderful research over the past couple of decades and their recent report on the state of rural Minnesota is certainly no exception to that pattern of excellence.  Dr. Gregory Thorson has worked extremely hard over the years spelling out the plight of smaller rural districts and he has assembled a number of effective critiques on how the per pupil funding formula doesn't work for small rural districts, even with the additions of sparsity and small school funding.

Here is a link to the education portion of the Center for Rural Policy and Development's State of Rural Minnesota report that was just released:


Here is the homepage for the organization:

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Good Article from the Mankato Free Press.  With all the talk about the need for improved mental health and student support services in schools, there is still a shortage of trained personnel to fill the positions that are needed.  This well-written article by Jessica Bies of the Mankato Free Press points out the challenges facing school districts as they try to provide these needed services.


Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Happy Day After Labor Day!  Which means Happy First Day of School!  It's always an exciting and hectic day and I'm sure transportation coordinators throughout the state are sleeping well tonight with a vast majority of any bugs out of the system and kids moved to and from school successfully.

The big news today is that approximately 60,000 students will be attending funded all-day/every day kindergarten today.  It was hailed within a news story broadcast on Channel 5 news at 6 PM.  Here is a link to that story:

Here's a synopsis of new initiatives in place this fall for school districts throughout the state:

Another interesting story described changes in the Bloomington School District relating to school safety.  Bloomington has invested heavily in new student safety equipment and has implemented new procedures.  An expanded view of school safety is necessary in our increasingly complex world and kudos to Bloomington for beefing up their system.  The article didn't specify how Bloomington paid for the upgrades, but enhanced school safety needs to be part of the discussion when the funding recommendations of the Facilities Funding Task Force are before the Legislature in 2015 (which is expected).  I can't find the link to the story right now, but I will post it when I find it.

Career and Tech Education.  Here's a link to a story from the British news magazine The Economist.  It's a bit on the pricey side (approximately $150 for an annual subscription), but The Economist is one of the better news magazines out there.  It's quite corporate-friendly, but it provides a pretty straight from the hip assessment of the international political scene.

Anyway, here's a link from last week's issue on the need for career and technical education.