Gaps in graduation rates shows the need for more support for students



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ST. PAUL, Minnesota. April 11, 2019 –Graduation rates are improving across the state and among all subgroups of students, although significant gaps by race and class remain, according to data released Tuesday by the Minnesota Department of Education.
 
“This is a good time to congratulate all the students who will graduate this spring and to thank all the educators who supported those students from preschool to high school,” said Denise Specht, president of Education Minnesota. “We also recognize and value the commitment of students who took a little longer to earn their degree because of the obstacles they have overcome. Every new graduate is a testament to the hard work of students, families and teams of great educators in every grade in Minnesota’s public schools.
 
“The data also show we cannot be content with the status quo,” Specht said. “It’s past time for the state to increase its investment in the supports students need to succeed. Years of chronic underfunding have, without question, contributed to the gaps we still see in the data on graduation rates. Minnesota needs to fully fund its schools.”
 
Earlier this year, Education Minnesota released its definition of fully funding E-12 public education, including reducing class sizes so students can get individual attention, bringing the state’s ratio of counselors to students in line with national standards, giving every 4-year-old access to a high-quality pre-K program, raising educator pay and reducing educators’ education debt. The cost was $3.7 billion to $4.3 billion for the biennium.

About Education Minnesota
Education Minnesota is the voice for professional educators and students. Education Minnesota’s members include teachers and education support professionals in Minnesota’s public school districts, faculty members at Minnesota’s community and technical colleges and University of Minnesota campuses in Duluth and Crookston, retired educators and student teachers. Education Minnesota is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, National Education Association and AFL-CIO.