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Local officials discuss possible amendment to help close education achievement gap

Updated: January 13, 2020 07:42 PM

The latest effort to eliminate Minnesota's achievement gap in education has some prominent supporters.

Former Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Alan Page and Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank President Neel Kashkari unveiled their proposal for a constitutional amendment.

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The two said they want to truly put children first, adding the state's current education policies are a civil rights issue.

Page says current Minnesota state law only allows students access to an "adequate" education system.

Education Minnesota, the teachers union, opposes the amendment stating, "the strategy paves the way for taxpayer-funded vouchers for private schools, which may discriminate against certain students."

Proposed constitutional amendment aims to eliminate Minnesota achievement gap, gains prominent supporters

Erin Rathke, a middle school principal in the Minneapolis Public School District says it's a delicate balance, because while the focus is on the students, there also must be support for teachers. 

She made those comments during a three and a half-hour public meeting Monday about education.

"I am open to the conversation about how we are going to fund and be innovative with teachers and students because it is very clear we have an achievement," she said. 

The amendment would still need authors and support before it would go to voters. 

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Jessica Miles

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