DFLers in the Minnesota Senate have introduced their plan to improve education, including addressing the teacher shortage, fixing inadequate school counseling programs, and expanding access to high quality pre-K.
Minnesota school districts are struggling to recruit and retain new teachers, especially in math, science, and special education. In response to the teacher shortage, Senate DFLers want to provide incentives for young people to enter the teaching profession, such as covering student teaching costs and implementing student loan forgiveness programs.
Additionally, Minnesota is experiencing a school counseling crisis and ranks 46th in the country in student-to-counselor ratios. Counseling programs are essential to supporting the mental health of students who are dealing with anxiety, depression, and family and behavioral problems. The Senate DFL aims to solve this crisis by integrating and expanding counseling programs in schools to benefit the development of students and encourage academic and professional success.
Finally, the Senate DFL plan proposes an increase in funding for early childhood and K-12 education to expand access to quality preschool programs for all Minnesota students. Providing greater access to pre-K will help to close the achievement gap by supporting the development of all children and preparing them to enter kindergarten.
These steps and more will go a long way toward improving education outcomes for all Minnesota students.