(FOX 9) - Gov. Tim Walz and other state leaders unveiled the "Due North Education Plan" Monday, which they say will address racial and geographic disparities in the state’s education system that have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Due North plan guides Minnesota towards a future "where every child receives a high-quality education, no matter their race or zip code," the governor’s office said in a news release.
The plan includes actions to support students during and after the COVID-19 pandemic, reform school financing, expand opportunities for students in Greater Minnesota and build a most qualified and diverse teaching workforce in the nation, according to the news release. The plan would ensure academic standards address the modern needs of the workforce, are inclusive of ethnic studies and are reflective of students of color and Indigenous students.
The plan was developed from an engagement effort with educators, school leaders, students and families across the state. With their help, state officials identified seven priority areas that make up the foundation of the plan:
- Meet the needs of students during and after the COVID-19 pandemic
- Every student receives a world-class education
- Every student learns in a safe and nurturing environment
- Every student learns in a classroom with caring and qualified teachers
- Expand access to opportunities for students of color and indigenous students
- Expand access to opportunities for students in Greater Minnesota
- Fund a 21st century education
A major focus of the plan is expanding access to opportunities for students of color and indigenous students, which includes establishing an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Center at the Minnesota Department of Education to address systemic racism. The plan also would ensure students receive an accurate history of Minnesota’s Indigenous people develop as well as provide training for all school staff on anti-bias practices.
Walz did not attach a price tag to the plan, but said he will release more details on Tuesday.