News & Updates

Mid-Week Reads: Economics and Early Ed

by | Aug 11, 2016 | Other

Every week, North Star will take some time out of our schedules to bring you our favorite reads from the past week.

Jeff Van Wychen

The Third Way: Share-the-Gains Capitalism

Economist and for U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich outlines three economic systems in America: (1) “no-lose socialism” for the uber-rich, in which they get lavish compensation regardless of the performance of the corporations they manage, (2) “cutthroat hyper-capitalism” for everyone else, in which real wages decline and workers have little or no protection from arbitrary treatment, and (3) his preferred approach of “share the wealth capitalism,” in which workers are guaranteed a reasonable share of the wealth they help to create.

Stephanie Fenner

K-3 Quality Matters Too, Says New Policy Report

A new report from the Education Commission of the States finds that while pre-school education is important, we shouldn’t ignore the importance of early elementary education. Some of the findings include:

  • Only 14 states require kindergarten to be full-day
  • Only 19 states and Washington DC require schools to have transition plans to help children from pre-school to kindergarten

Among the Minnesota-specific findings: we have full-day voluntary kindergarten, and require an average class size ratio of 1:17 teacher to students in grades K-3.

Digging into Danger: Broadband Installation Damage in Minnesota

In 1998, a crew installing broadband cable for high-speed internet in downtown St. Cloud struck a gas line. The resulting explosion killed four people, destroyed six buildings, and caused $400,000 in damage.[1] More than 25 years later, too little has changed. In...

Failure is Not an Option

Despite Minnesota having $12.5 billion in one time money and a structural general fund surplus of $6 billion, there is no surplus in transportation funding. This report details decades of declining revenue from dedicated funding sources of transportation...

Underfunded Minnesota: Collective Investment for a Brighter Future

The current budget surplus represents an important opportunity to improve the quality and affordability of life for Minnesotans. For decades, wages have largely stagnated, while workers and families have incurred steeply rising costs for major expenses like childcare,...

Losing Ground: State Disinvestment in Students

Our first report, “Losing Ground”, has a simple but stark finding: over the last twenty years, per pupil state aid received by Minnesota school districts declined by 20 percent, after adjusting for inflation. As state aid has fallen off, school districts have asked...

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