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Rochester Rehires Teachers Thanks to Stimulus.

A few months ago, the Rochester school district was forced to lay off 78 teachers because of drastic budget cuts made by Tim Pawlenty and his friends in the Legislature. Thanks to federal stimulus money given to the Rochester public schools in late July, almost all of those teachers have been rehired.

According to the Rochester Post-Bulletin, Rochester has rehired 62 educators of the 78 that were laid off. Some educators moved away or decided to retire, accounting for the 16 that were not rehired.

While the stimulus jobs are considered one-year positions, this is a complete turn around for the Rochester school board from the gloomy, terrible outlook from a few months earlier.

Unfortunately, there isn’t such happy news at Rochester Community and Technical College, which is expected to lose $750,000 next year. Like many other Minnesotan college and universities, these budget reductions come along with record enrollment increases. The Post-Bulletin reports that RCTC saw a 25 percent jump in enrollment this summer and is projecting an 18 percent increase this fall.

The ability for Minnesotan colleges and universities to provide high quality education is being jeopardized by Governor Pawlenty’s budget cuts and unallotment. Faculty is being cut to make up for reduced state funding, meaning a smaller staff is faced with the same amount of work. This is what accounts for growing class sizes at schools in Minnesota. We need education to thrive in Minnesota, which is something we’ve been talking about on the Thrive Drive. Check out our videos from the road on the Thrive Drive website.

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