Education

School Vouchers are the Wrong Choice

Many in the conservative movement advocate for “school choice”: aka educational reform in the way of school vouchers, but there are waves and waves of research that suggest private school vouchers harm students who receive them. But first: What are school vouchers? The concept originated with Milton Friedman, and is essentially a strategy to privatize…

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Minnesota Tuition Hikes Surpass U.S. Average Since 2000

State support for higher education in Minnesota has declined over the course of the 21st century and—as a result—tuition has skyrocketed, as demonstrated in part one and part two of this series. While these trends are not unique to Minnesota, the decline of state support and the growth in tuition in the Gopher State has…

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Declining State Aid Translates into Soaring Tuition

State support for higher education declined by over 40 percent from fiscal year (FY) 2000 to 2015, after adjusting for inflation and changes in enrollment, as reported in the first part of this series. However, the burden of state funding cuts did not fall so much on institutions of higher education, but on college and…

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State Support for Higher Education Drops Dramatically Since 2000

A conservative interest group recently claimed that higher education has become a tremendous suck on state resources. A close examination of public higher education revenue in Minnesota tells a different story. Since the turn of the century, state support for higher education has dropped dramatically, after adjusting for inflation and changes in enrollment. Data for…

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Education Alone Does Not Explain the Racial/Ethnic Earnings Gap

Americans in general experienced strong earnings growth from 2014 to 2015; this was especially true for blacks and Hispanics, as noted in the preceding article in this series. Over the longer term, however, the earnings gap between white Americans and most minority groups has increased. Disparities in education levels contribute to—but by no means fully…

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Equal Pay Day and Student Loans

Today is Equal Pay Day, the day when women’s earnings “catch up” to men’s earnings from the previous year. In other words, it takes a woman from January 1, 2015 to April 12, 2016 to earn the same as a man earns in 2015. Women, in 2016, make just 79 cents on the dollar compared…

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Executive Summary: Minnesota's Budget Surplus

The conservative effort to use the entire budget surplus to reduce state taxes—often referred to as the “give it back” campaign—is based on the premise that state revenues and expenditures have increased dramatically and thus all legitimate state expenditure needs should already be sated. However, a closer look at total state general fund revenue and…

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Minnesota's Budget Surplus: Balancing Tax Cuts and Investments

I. Introduction Last March, a group of legislators gathered at the State Capitol with a simple message: “Give it back!” The “it” refers to the state budget surplus, then projected to be nearly two billion dollars for the upcoming fiscal year (FY) 2016-17 biennium. These legislators urged Governor Dayton and their House and Senate colleagues…

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Statewide Student Loan Debt Conversations

Last week, we hit the road and traveled around the state talking with student loan borrowers about their experiences dealing with debt. We met with students, professionals, and local leaders and heard powerful stories about the struggles folks have due to student debt. We made eight stops in four days, traveling to Wayzata, Brooklyn Park,…

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