SAINT PAUL, MN – Karin Housley, Minnesota state senator and Republican candidate for United States Senate, issued the following statement:
“Minnesota is home to some of the brightest students in the nation, taught by passionate, driven educators whose days are spent in the classroom doing incredibly important work – and doing it well. My mom and dad were both public school teachers; my four kids are the products of public schools. I know firsthand the enormous impact a good education can have – and there’s nothing I love more than a passionate, substantive conversation on how we can work together to improve public education.
“I am declining an invitation participate in Education Minnesota’s screening of U.S. Senate candidates on April 27. This afternoon, Education Minnesota tweeted a graphic contrasting ‘what educators need’ versus ‘what Republicans want’. Instead of accurately portraying the facts, the graphic is designed to portray all Republicans as both anti-teacher and anti-education.
Minnesota’s special education cross-subsidy has grown from $175 million in 2003 to $672 million in 2017, and is projected to hit more than $800 million by 2021. We don’t need another special education “working group.” We need funding. #mnleg pic.twitter.com/Ile07FElDz
— Education Minnesota (@EducationMN) April 26, 2018
“Partisan generalizations that rely on cherrypicked half-truths are contrary to the success of our children and our schools. Education Minnesota masquerades itself as the state’s ‘leading advocate for public education’, but the unfortunate reality is they are not interested in a discussion. I simply cannot expect to get a fair shake from a group whose hyper-partisan, inflammatory language flies in the face of those they claim to represent. Instead of investing their significant resources in a discussion on innovation and results in education policy, Education Minnesota’s priority is on its politics.
“Instead, I will let my legislative record as a fierce advocate for public education speak for itself:
- This session, I voted for the pension restructuring and strengthening bill that was supported by the governor and the Teachers Retirement Association. I also voted to significantly increase revenue for safe and secure schools.
- In 2017, I voted to increase per pupil funding by 2% in each of the next two budgets – a top priority of the teachers union. I also introduced, and helped enact, legislation supplementing rural school districts for the high costs of student transportation.
- In 2016, I voted to increase school spending, while also voting to prevent students who assault teachers from being returned to the classroom of that teacher.
- In 2015, I voted to increase per pupil funding, voted to prevent school funding shifts, and helped enact deferred maintenance building funds for school districts.
“There is no doubt Minnesota schools face tremendous challenges. I’ve tackled those challenges as a state senator and I will do the same in the United States Senate.”