Home Advocacy At the Legislature

At the Legislature

The decisions state legislators make affect your classroom, school and profession. State funding dictates what districts can do about class sizes, special education caseloads, even the condition of your building.

Share on
EmailTwitterFacebookLinkedIn

What we do

Education Minnesota has paid lobbyists and hundreds of fellow Minnesota educators fighting for you at the Capitol, connecting with legislators and other state officials to ensure their voices are heard when decisions are made. We track legislation, keep you informed and arm you with the resources you need to influence public policy.

A lot of people think they know what’s best for students without asking educators. Your union gives you a seat at the table because educators know what’s best for students.

What we’re fighting for

A strong system of public schools, one that gives every Minnesota student an equal opportunity for success – no matter what they look like or where they come from – will strengthen our communities and improve the lives of children and their families. 

If we are serious about making sure every student can pursue their dreams, our state needs to get serious about funding what works.  

Here are just some of the issues we’re prioritizing at the state Capitol:

Minnesota’s share of funding for public school districts hasn’t kept pace with inflation—it’s now 11.8 percent less than it was in 2003 in real dollars. It’s time for Minnesota to fully fund public education to give students and educators the safe and racially just schools they deserve. The state needs to invest billions of dollars into strategies proven to help our students succeed.

Minnesota’s system of care and education for our youngest children is in urgent need of dramatic overhaul.

Everyone who works in public education deserves the same things. Respect for their contribution to the care and education of our students. Fair compensation for their work, including affordable health care. Safe working conditions. Unfortunately, most education support professionals (ESPs) across Minnesota don’t get enough of any of those.

Educator pension plans are designed as a tool for employers to attract skilled workers and get them to stay in the profession, often with the same employer until they retire. The Minnesota Legislature needs to examine the breadth of options available to make teaching attractive. That includes enhanced retirement benefits that recognize and reward teachers’ hard work on behalf of students.

Education Minnesota is working with dozens of community allies around the state on specific proposals to truly provide every student – no matter what they look like or where they come from – with racially just schools and educators who are culturally competent.

Educators care about more than their compensation. They want more control over the learning environments in their worksites and the future of their profession.

Get involved

The most effective advocates for public schools are you and your colleagues. Get involved!

Lobby Days

The most effective advocates for public schools in Minnesota are the front-line educators who guide our students toward successful lives every day, which is why Education Minnesota has made it easier than ever for members to participate in lobby days.

Take action

Click the links below to take action on the issues we’re fighting for at the Capitol!

Support unemployment insurance equity for ESPs

Unlike most Minnesota workers, education support professionals don’t have access to unemployment benefits — leaving them without pay during the summer months. This is causing our schools to lose dedicated and skilled employees who are crucial to our students’ success and well-being. Tell your legislators to support this common-sense fix and allow hourly school employees to access unemployment if needed. 

Give educators more time to teach

Minnesota’s churn-and-burn mentality with educators must stop. Educators are at a breaking point. They are not only quitting in the middle of the school year – they’re walking off the job in the middle of the school day. The state Legislature can make teaching more attractive by giving educators more time to prepare quality lessons for students, complete paperwork and evaluations, communicate with families, and more.

Help school districts curb unexpected insurance hikes

Tell your legislators and Gov. Tim Walz to support HF4853/SF4566. This legislation would give school districts with 400 or fewer employees enrolled in PEIP $2,000 per insurance-eligible worker to reduce those premium costs. It will also give districts and employees greater choice by lowering the nonrenewal year withdrawal rate from 50 percent to 20 percent.  

Tell legislators to enhance our pensions

Minnesota’s school staffing shortage was already a growing problem before COVID-19 hit, but now it’s at crisis levels. The state Legislature can make teaching more attractive by enhancing retirement benefits to recognize and reward teachers hard work on behalf of students.

Invest Minnesota’s historic surplus in our schools

Minnesota’s historic $9.25 billion budget surplus gives the Legislature an unprecedented opportunity to put a down payment on fully funding public education at a time when educators are at a breaking point. Minnesota has the resources to invest in our students and transform every public school into a welcoming place to learn and work.

Support the ESP Bill of Rights

Everyone who works in public education deserves the same things. Unfortunately, most education support professionals don’t get enough respect in their schools, fair compensation for their work or safe working conditions. Sign our petition to urge the Minnesota Legislature to pass legislation benefitting these professionals.