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ST. PAUL, Minnesota., March 4, 2022 – For his unwavering support of students and their educators through his first term, Education Minnesota, the largest labor union in Minnesota, has endorsed the reelection of Gov. Tim Walz.
“Governing through the pandemic required a playbook that wasn’t written yet, but Gov. Walz led Minnesotans with integrity and confidence,” said Denise Specht, president of Education Minnesota. “Every educator who has worked without a lesson plan for even a day can appreciate what the governor achieved during the past two years.”
“Gov. Walz has never hesitated in his defense of collective bargaining or his commitment to improving the lives of students, educators and their families,” Specht said. “He was elected as the ‘Educator Governor’ and stayed true to the title. Our union is proud to endorse him for another four years.”
Education Minnesota members are at the forefront of the union’s endorsement process again in 2022. Each candidate seeking the union’s endorsement must visit with educators inside a public school, have face-to-face conversations with educators about issues facing working families, and the candidates must answer survey questions submitted by classroom educators.
“The endorsement process is driven by educators who work every day in schools across the state,” said Ternesha Burroughs, chair of the union’s political action committee and a math teacher in the Osseo Area Public Schools. “Educators are on the PAC board. Educators wrote the questions in the candidate questionnaire. Educators met face-to-face with the candidates in their schools. After that long process, it was clear Tim Walz was the best choice for governor.”
In his first four years in office, Gov. Walz and Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan:
- Increased education spending by $1.2 billion over four years, including the largest per-pupil increase in 15 years.
- Directed $29 million in one-time funding to support the general operations of schools and cushion temporary enrollment losses during the pandemic.
- Preserved thousands of seats in the state’s pre-kindergarten program.
- Targeted spending to reduce the racial opportunity gap, including programs to recruit and retain more teachers of color.
- Invested in full-service community schools, layers of student support services, mentoring for new teachers, expanding non-exclusionary systems of discipline, and providing training in trauma-informed teaching for teachers and paraprofessionals.
Members of Education Minnesota will continue reviewing and endorsing candidates for statewide office and the state Legislature through the spring and early summer.
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.