July 14 issue of Learning Matters

Minnesota Department of Education


July 14, 2014

Agency News

Minnesota One of 15 States to Meet New Compliance and Results Requirements

Classroom Students Focused on Learning

The U.S. Department of Education used a new accountability system called Results Driven Accountability (RDA) to measure both compliance and results on 18 indicators, including, graduation rate, dropout rate, participation and performance on assessments, and meeting evaluation timelines. Minnesota received a determination of ‘Meets Requirements’ for our Part B determination with a RDA percentage of 82.95 percent and an RDA of 100 percent for our Part C.

Visit the Special Education programs Web page to read more.

$54 Million to Minnesota Schools!

Thanks to new education funding enacted by the Minnesota Legislature and Governor Dayton during the 2014 legislative session, Minnesota schools will receive an additional $54 million in new funding this school year. This new funding will benefit the state’s more than 840,000 students through increased student aid, early learning programs, nutritious breakfast and lunches, and other important measures. Read news release.

Minnesota Department of Education Wins Innovation Award

This week, our Regional Centers of Excellence program won the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs 2014 State Government Innovation Award. The awards recognize excellence in state government agencies and seek to encourage experimentation and innovation in Minnesota.

Read more on the Governor's Blog.


Parents: Save School Supplies Receipts!

Stack of School Supplies

Minnesota offers two valuable tax benefits for parents who purchase school supplies for their K-12 students. The K-12 Education Credit and Subtraction can reduce parents’ taxes and increase their refund, but only if they keep their receipts. Purchases for most school supplies, field trips, and musical instruments for school band are eligible.

Most Minnesota parents qualify for the K-12 subtraction, which reduces their taxable income. Parents under certain income limits may also qualify for the K-12 credit, which can refund up to 75% of their costs – even for parents who don’t owe any taxes.

 Visit the Minnesota Revenue website for details.

By the Numbers

145 -
Number of schools in Minnesota with Farm to School programs that provide fresh produce for school meals while educating students about the importance of healthy eating habits.

43 percent  -
of all first-grade students in Minnesota live in poverty, qualifying for free- or reduced-price lunch. 

0 - number of students who will be refused a healthy school lunch when unable to pay the 40 cents required for a reduced-price lunch -- thanks to increased funding from Governor Dayton and the 2014 Legislature

Education in the News

Minnesota Website Tracks High School Graduates' College Success

Back in 2008, 225 students graduated from St. Paul's Como Park High School. More than 70 percent went to college. Almost 40 percent got a degree. Read full Pioneer Press story.

Investments Bring More Than $80,000 to Marshall Schools

Education in Minnesota continued to be a high priority for the Minnesota Legislature and Gov. Mark Dayton during the 2014 legislative session, benefiting all 337 school districts and the more than 2,000 schools in the state. Read more in the Marshall Independent.

New Anti-Bullying Policies Coming Statewide

Bill signed into law by Gov. Mark Dayton in April, takes affect in 2014-15 school year. Read full Sleepy Eye Herald-Dispatch story.

St. Paul School Board Approves iPads for Students

Students at more than half of the district's schools will be issued iPads beginning fall 2014, and all students and teachers will have them in the 2015-2016 school year. Read more at MPRnews.

Recent BloggED posts

Kudos Future Problem Solvers!

Wayzata High School's Championship Global Issues Problem Solving Team

Minnesota students performed exceptionally well during the recent International Conference of the Future Problem Solving Program (FPSP). The conference hosted over 2,500 students representing 42 states and fifteen countries!Evaluators and coaches describe the program as teaching students how to think, not what to think. FPSP teaches creative and critical thinking skills by providing opportunities to apply process tools and method to real world problems.

Read full story on BloggED

Upcoming Events

2014 Back-to-School Leadership Conference – August 5-6

The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) and the Minnesota Association of School Administrators (MASA) present the 2014 Back-to-School Leadership Conference Tuesday-Wednesday, August 5-6, 2014, at the Minneapolis Marriott Northwest, Brooklyn Park, Minnesota. All are welcome. Bring your team! NOTE: The Back-to-School Leadership Conference has been designed to be compatible with the agenda for the FinnFest Education Forum scheduled on August 6-7, in Minneapolis.

For more information and to register, visit the conference website.

FinnFest Education Forum – August 6-7, 2014

A two-day seminar focused on Education for the 21st Century World. Come join the discussion with education experts from Finland and the U.S. and create an action plan to address the needs of the next generation. The forum will be held at the Ted Mann Concert Hall at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. CEUs for teachers and administrators will be available.

Visit the FinnFest USA 2014 website for more information and to register.