Public education in Minnesota
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- 1 State agencies
- 2 Regional comparison
- 3 Demographics
- 4 Academic performance
- 5 Educational choice options
- 6 Education funding and expenditures
- 7 Organizations
- 8 Taxpayer-funded lobbying
- 9 Transparency
- 10 Education ballot measures
- 11 Studies and reports
- 12 Recent news
- 13 See also
- 14 External links
- 15 References
Minnesota school districts
List of school districts in Minnesota
Public education in Minnesota
School board elections portal
|“||The Minnesota Department of Education provides an excellent education for Minnesota students by implementing Governor Mark Dayton’s 7-Point Plan for Better Schools for a Better Minnesota. We strive for excellence, equity and opportunity by focusing on closing the achievement gap, supporting high-quality teaching, using innovative strategies to improve educational outcomes, and ensuring all students graduate from high school well-prepared for college, career and life.||”|
The Commissioner of Education serves as the head of the Department of Education. The Commissioner of Education is appointed by the Governor. The term of office expires either when the Governor's term expires or the Governor leaves office. The current Commissioner of Education is Brenda Cassellius.
Common Core, or the Common Core State Standards Initiative, is an American education initiative that outlines quantifiable benchmarks in English and mathematics at each grade level from kindergarten through high school. As of 2014, Minnesota had only adopted the English standards.
- See also: General comparison table for education statistics in the 50 states
- See also: Education spending per pupil in all 50 states
The following chart shows how Minnesota compares to three neighboring states with respect to number of students, schools, the number of teachers per pupil, and the number of administrators per pupil. Further comparisons between these states with respect to performance and financial information are given in other sections of this page.
|State||Schools||Districts||Students||Teachers||Teacher/pupil ratio||Administrator/pupil ratio||Per pupil spending|
| Sources: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data (CCD), "State Nonfiscal Public Elementary/Secondary Education Survey", 2011-12 v.1a.|
National Center for Education Statistics, Table 2. Number of operating public schools and districts, state enrollment, teacher and pupil/teacher ratio by state: School year 2011–12
The following table displays the ethnic distribution of students in Minnesota as reported in the National Center for Education Statistics Common Core of Data for 2011-2012.
|Demographic information for Minnesota's K-12 public school system|
|Ethnicity||Students||State Percentage||United States Percentage**|
|Hawaiian Nat./Pacific Isl. students||650||0.08%||0.42%|
|Two or more||19,450||2.32%||2.54%|
|**Note: This is the percentage of all students in the United States that are reported to be of this ethnicity.|
Enrollments by region type
A plurality of students in Minnesota attend rural schools. Approximately 50 percent of the state's students attend rural or town schools, compared to approximately 50 percent who attend city or suburban schools.
|Student distribution by region type, 2011 - 2012 (as percents)|
|State||City schools||Suburban schools||Town schools||Rural schools|
|Source: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data (CCD) (timed out)|
- See also: NAEP scores by state
The National Center for Education Statistics provides state-by-state data on student achievement levels in mathematics and reading in the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). Compared to three neighboring states (North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin), Minnesota had the highest share of students (both fourth and eighth graders) who scored at or above proficient in math and reading.
|Percent of students scoring at or above proficient, 2012-2013|
|Math - Grade 4||Math - Grade 8||Reading - Grade 4||Reading - Grade 8|
|Source: United States Department of Education, ED Data Express, "State Tables," accessed May 13, 2014|
|NAEP assessment data for all students 2012-2013|
Graduation, ACT and SAT scores
|Comparison table for graduation rates and test scores*|
|State||Graduation rate, 2012||Average ACT Composite, 2012||Average SAT Composite, 2013|
|Percent||Quintile ranking**||Score||Participation rate||Score||Participation rate|
| *Regulatory Adjusted Cohort Rate (except for Idaho, Kentucky, Oklahoma, which did not report “Regulatory Adjusted Cohort Graduation Rate,” but instead used their own method of calculation).|
**Graduation rates for states in the first quintile ranked in the top 20 percent nationally. Similarly, graduation rates for states in the fifth quintile ranked in the bottom 20 percent nationally.
Source: United States Department of Education, ED Data Express
- See also: Public high school dropout rates by state for a full comparison of dropout rates by group in all states
The high school event dropout rate indicates the proportion of students who were enrolled at some time during the school year and were expected to be enrolled in grades 9–12 in the following school year but were not enrolled by October 1 of the following school year. Students who have graduated, transferred to another school, died, moved to another country, or who are out of school due to illness are not considered dropouts. The average public high school event dropout rate for the United States remained constant at 3.3 percent for both SY 2010–11 and SY 2011–12. The event dropout rate for Minnesota was lower than the national average at 1.8 percent in the 2010-2011 school year, and 1.9 percent in the 2011-2012 school year.
Educational choice options
- See also: School choice in Minnesota
School choice options in Minnesota include: charter schools, school choice tax credits, an inter-district open enrollment policy and online learning programs. In addition, about 9.57 percent of school age children in the state attended private schools in the 2011-12 academic year, and an estimated 1.80 percent were homeschooled in 2012-13.
Education funding and expenditures
- See also: Minnesota state budget and finances
According to the National Association of State Budget Officers (NASBO), the state spent approximately 23.8 percent of its fiscal year 2012 budget on elementary and secondary education. As a share of the budget, this is down 2.60 percentage points, or 9.8 percent, from fiscal year 2008, when the state spent 26.4 percent of its budget on elementary and secondary education.
|Comparison of financial figures for school systems|
|State||Percent of budget (2012)||Per pupil spending (2011)||Revenue sources (2011)|
|Percent federal funds||Percent state funds||Percent local funds|
| Sources: NASBO, "State Expenditure Report," Table 8: Elementary and Secondary Education Expenditures As a Percent of Total Expenditures |
U.S. Census Bureau, "Public Education Finances: 2011,Governments Division Reports," issued May 2013
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, public school system revenues in Minnesota totaled approximately $11.2 billion in fiscal year 2011. The table and chart below present further detail, including revenue sources, for Minnesota and surrounding states.
|Revenues by source, FY 2011 (amounts in thousands)|
|Federal revenue||State revenue||Local revenue||Total revenue|
|Source: National Center for Education Statistics|
|Public school revenues by source, FY 2011 (as percents)|
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, public school system expenditures in Minnesota totaled approximately $10.9 billion in fiscal year 2011. The table and chart below present further detail, including expenditure types, for Minnesota and surrounding states.
|Expenditures by type, FY 2011 (amounts in thousands)|
|Current expenditures**||Capital outlay||Other***||Total expenditures|
| **Funds spent operating local public schools and local education agencies, including such expenses as salaries for school personnel, student transportation, school books and materials, and energy costs, but excluding capital outlay, interest on school debt, payments to private schools, and payments to public charter schools.|
***Includes payments to state and local governments, payments to private schools, interest on school system indebtedness, and nonelementary-secondary expenditures, such as adult education and community services expenditures.
Source: National Center for Education Statistics
|Public school expenditures, FY 2011 (as percents)|
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average national salary for classroom teachers in public elementary and secondary schools has declined by 1.3 percent from the 1999-2000 school year to the 2012-2013 school year. During the same period in Minnesota, the average salary increased by 3.4 percent.
|Estimated average salaries for teachers (in constant dollars**)|
|**"Constant dollars based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI), prepared by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, adjusted to a school-year basis. The CPI does not account for differences in inflation rates from state to state."|
In 2012 the Fordham Institute and Education Reform Now assessed the power and influence of state teacher unions in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Their rankings were based on 37 different variables in five broad areas, including: resources and membership, involvement in politics, scope of bargaining, state policies and perceived influence. Minnesota ranked 14th overall, or "strong," which was in the second of five tiers.
The main union related to the Minnesota school system is Education Minnesota, an affiliate of the National Education Association (NEA) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT). For the 2003 tax period the union had: $24.6 million in total revenue, $24.1 million in total expenses and $26.5 million in total assets.
List of local Minnesota school unions:
- Education Minnesota
- AFT Minneapolis Local 59
- St. Paul Federation of Teachers
- Robbinsdale Federation of Teachers
- Duluth Federation Of Teachers
- Education Minnesota Lakeville
- Mounds View Education Association
- See also: Minnesota government sector lobbying
The main education government sector lobbying organization is the Minnesota School Boards Association.
Minnesota launched a spending transparency database in March 2009. The website, created by Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB), "offers on-line, round-the-clock access to data on state payments for schools, local governments, contractors and other vendors. With just a few clicks, citizens can access detailed information on most state spending." According to state officials, the data is supplied by the state's accounting system and updated nightly.
Education ballot measures
Ballotpedia has tracked 14 statewide ballot measures relating to education.
- Minnesota County Superintendent Qualifications, Amendment 4 (1908)
- Minnesota Definition of Academic Facilities, Amendment 1 (1934)
- Minnesota Divert Mining Tax, Amendment 3 (1956)
- Minnesota Investing School Funds, Amendment 3 (1875)
- Minnesota Investment of School Funds, Amendment 1 (1942)
- Minnesota Investment of School Funds, Amendment 2 (1916)
- Minnesota Investment of School Funds, Amendment 3 (1912)
- Minnesota Investment of School Funds, Amendment 5 (1914)
- Minnesota Prohibit Use of Funds for Sectarian Schools, Amendment 7 (1877)
- Minnesota Qualifications for County Superintendents, Amendment 5 (1912)
- Minnesota School Fund Investment Restrictions, Amendment 2 (1984)
- Minnesota School Funds Loans, Amendment 1 (1886)
- Minnesota School Investment Requirements, Amendment 1 (1952)
- Minnesota Suffrage in School Affairs, Amendment 2 (1875)
Studies and reports
Quality Counts 2014
- See also: Quality Counts 2014 Report
Education Week, a publication that reports on many education issues throughout the country, began using an evaluation system in 1997 to grade each state on various elements of education performance. This system, called Quality Counts, uses official data on performance from each state to generate a report card for all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The report card in 2014 uses six different categories:
- Chance for success
- K-12 achievement
- Standards, assessments and accountability
- The teaching profession
- School finance
- Transitions and Alignment
Each of these six categories had a number of other elements that received individual scores. Those scores were then averaged and used to determine the final score in each category. Every state received two types of scores for each of the six major categories: A numerical score out of 100 and a letter grade based on that score. Education Week used the score for the first category, "chance for success," as the value for ranking each state and the District of Columbia. The average grade received in the entire country was 77.3, or a C+ average. The country's highest average score was in the category of "standards, assessments and accountability" at 85.3, or a B average. The lowest average score was in "K-12 achievement", at 70.2, or a C- average.
Minnesota received a score of 87.3, or a B+ average in the "chance for success" category. This was above the national average. Aside from the "chance for success" category, the state's highest score was in "K-12 achievement" at 76.7, or a C+ average. The lowest score was in "the teaching profession" at 67.5, or a D+ average. Minnesota had the fifth highest score in the "chance for success" category in the country. The chart below displays the scores of Minnesota and its surrounding states.
Note: Click on a column heading to sort the data.
|Public education report cards, 2014|
|State||Chance for success||K-12 achievement||Standards, assessments and accountability||The teaching profession||School finance||Transitions and Alignment|
|Minnesota||87.3 (B+)||76.7 (C+)||71.2 (C-)||67.5 (D+)||74.6 (C)||71.4 (C-)|
|North Dakota||86.9 (B+)||68.2 (D+)||85.4 (B)||66.6 (D+)||76.8 (C+)||78.6 (C+)|
|South Dakota||79.6 (B-)||63.2 (D)||73.0 (C)||60.8 (D-)||68.2 (D+)||64.3 (D)|
|Wisconsin||82.4 (B-)||72.1 (C-)||75.2 (C)||79.1 (C+)||85.6 (B)||85.7 (B)|
|United States Average||77.3 (C+)||70.2 (C-)||85.3 (B)||72.5 (C)||75.5 (C)||81.1 (B-)|
| Source: Education Week, "Quality Counts 2014 report cards," accessed February 18, 2015|
A full discussion of how these numbers were generated can be found here.
State Budget Solutions education study
State Budget Solutions examined national trends in education from 2009 to 2011, including state-by-state analysis of education spending, graduation rates and average ACT scores. The study showed that the states that spent the most did not have the highest average ACT test scores, nor did they have the highest average graduation rates. A summary of the study is available here. The full report can be accessed here.
This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term "Minnesota + Education "
- All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.
- Minnesota state budget and finances
- Minnesota Department of Education
- Minnesota school districts
- School choice in Minnesota
- Charter schools in Minnesota
- Education Policy in the U.S.
- Minnesota Department of Education (MDE)
- Minnesota Board of Teaching
- National Center for Education Statistics, "Table 2. Number of operating public schools and districts, state enrollment, teacher and pupil/teacher ratio by state: School year 2011–12," accessed March 18, 2014
- ED Data Express, "State Tables Report," accessed March 17, 2014 The site includes this disclaimer: "States converted to an adjusted cohort graduation rate [starting in the 2010-2011 school year], which may or may not be the same as the calculation they used in prior years. Due to the potential differences, caution should be used when comparing graduation rates across states."
- United States Census Bureau, "Public Education Finances: 2011," accessed March 18, 2014
- United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Common Core of Data (CCD); Table 2.—Number of operating public schools and districts, state enrollment, teacher and pupil/teacher ratio by state: School year 2011-12," accessed May 12, 2014
- United States Department of Education, "ED Data Express," accessed May 12, 2014
- Minnesota Department of Education, "Office of the Commissioner," accessed May 21, 2014
- Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
- Minnesota Department of Education, "Executive Team," accessed May 21, 2014
- 2013 Minnesota Statutes, "Chapter 15, Section 06," accessed May 21, 2014
- Common Core State Standards Initiative, "Core Standards in your State," accessed June 12, 2014
- United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Common Core of Data (CCD), State Nonfiscal Public Elementary/Secondary Education Survey, 2011-2012," accessed May 7, 2014
- United States Department of Education, ED Data Express, "State Tables," accessed May 13, 2014
- ACT, "2012 ACT National and State Scores," accessed May 13, 2014
- Commonwealth Foundation, "SAT Scores by State 2013," October 10, 2013
- United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Common Core of Data (CCD), State Dropout and Graduation Rate Data File, School Year 2010-11, Provision Version 1a and School Year 2011-12, Preliminary Version 1a," accessed May 13, 2014
- National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2011-2013," accessed February 21, 2014
- National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2009-2011," accessed February 24, 2014
- National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditures Report, 2010-2012," accessed February 24, 2014
- National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2009," accessed February 24, 2014
- National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2008," accessed February 24, 2014
- United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Revenues and Expenditures for Public Elementary and Secondary School Districts: School Year 2010–11," accessed May 13, 2014 (timed out)
- Maciver Institute, "REPORT: How much are teachers really paid?," accessed October 29, 2014
- United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Table 211.60. Estimated average annual salary of teachers in public elementary and secondary schools, by state: Selected years, 1969-70 through 2012-13," accessed May 13, 2014
- Thomas E Fordham Institute, " How Strong Are U.S. Teacher Unions? A State-By-State Comparison," October 29, 2012
- Center for Union Facts, "Education Minnesota," accessed October 27, 2009
- Center for Union Facts, "Minnesota teachers unions," accessed October 27, 2009
- Office of the Governor, "Governor Pawlenty Unveils New State Website to Allow Citizens to Track Government Spending Online," March 26, 2009
- Minnpost.com, "Many states, including Minnesota, lag in putting their spending on the Internet," February 27, 2009
- Education Week "Quality Counts 2014 report cards," accessed February 19, 2015
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