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Lawmaker says Building The World's Best Workforce Starts in the Classroom

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MANKATO, Minn. -

How do we build the world's best workforce? Friday the Chair of the House Education Finance Committee came to Mankato to ask local education officials just that.

Representative Paul Marquart said, "We decided back then, in the 60s and 70s to really invest in education."

When you look at Minnesota's education system, there are many high points.

Marquart said, "Were on top on the act scores. You take our best math student they rank among the best in the world

Yet there are also signs the path to success has become much harder to navigate for our students.

Marquart said, "Probably the by elephant in the room is our achievement gap."

Marquart said Minnesota's achievement gap is among the worst in the nation.

Marquart said, "Our students of color, our students of poverty are only scoring at about half the rate on our proficiency test as our white students."

So who better to talk with about solving current challenges facing students than the educators who are on the front lines.

Rep. Kathy Brynaert said, "Stay in the conversation with us because we don't always know what we need, you might see it ahead of us."

Marquart said the states future economic competitiveness will hinge on the success of the kids that are sitting in classrooms today.

Paul Marquart said, "It is imperative as we look at the economy of MN and in to the future, that we are not settling for second best."

Building the worlds best workforce starts in the classroom. Now it's a matter of making decisions at the capitol that will help make the classroom more effective.

Brynaert said, "We're about the same goals and that is serving our students, creating opportunity for our students, improving their paths to their future."

And improving the future of Minnesota.

Marquart said while the budget isn't final yet, there will be a significant investment in early childhood education, and for the first time the state will completely fund all day every day kindergarten