MN State Leaders Propose Free, All Day Preschool

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Greenhaven Elementary preschoolers are in class for 7 1/2 hours a week but a proposal making its way through the capital could change that.

Ready, Set, Go is the name of the preschool and process the little kids go through before they take the big leap to kindergarten.

“Coming to preschool plays a huge impact on how they go into kindergarten,” Ready, Set, Go Preschool Teacher Candida Renaud said.

To shed more light on the importance of investing in Minnesota’s education system Lt. Governor Tina Smith stopped on the Iron Range to see firsthand how significant programs like that one can be.

“We have one of the best education systems in the country here in Minnesota,” said Smith. “But one of the challenges that we struggle with is not every child does the same, we have gaps.”

To close the achievement gap Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton’s budget is proposing to pour $695 million into preK-12 education.

Nearly half of it would be used to fund free, all day pre-kindergarten programs for all children.

“We know from research that the most important thing we can do to help make sure that every single child in Minnesota is ready for school, is ready by 3rd grade is gonna be ready to graduate from high school,” said Smith. “The most important thing we can do is make sure they’re ready for kindergarten.”

Educators say cramming in so much info in little minds with so little time can be tough.

“It’s sometimes a struggle, but we make it work,” said Renaud.

Preschool everyday could be a good change.

“Can’t really say there’s a disadvantage to more education,” said Renaud.
“The more the better.”

Lt. Governor Smith also made a trip to Mesabi Range College to talk to students about college affordability and accessibility issues.

Aside from education Smith also made trips to Minntac and  Keetac to talk about the effects of the plants idling.

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