Friday, April 17, 2009

Education in Minnesota

Minnesota has always valued education. Funding higher education is certainly the pathway to building a stronger state. Higher education has played a large role in making Minnesota a great place to live. The University of Minnesota was established in 1851, seven years before the territory of Minnesota became a state. Due to economic woes, the University was closed during the Civil War, and later reopened with the public support from the Morrill Land-Grant Act.

The first public university in the state, the University of Minnesota has predominantly been one of the best public institutions for higher education in the state. Striving to improve the status of the U, legislators in Minnesota take higher education policy very seriously. This session (January 2009 to present) more than 36 bills have been introduced dealing solely with higher education policy and finance.

The one bill that I found to be most striking dealt with promoting higher education among high school students. This bill is House File 2080 introduced by Representative Lyndon Carlson. This bill states that higher education institutions, such as the University of Minnesota, are required to partner with high schools to promote college attendance. Along with encouraging students to obtain higher education, the bill also establishes programs to make these goals attainable.

The higher education in Minnesota is just one key component to the education system that characterizes Minnesota as such a great place to live. House File 2080 encourages students to pursue higher education, and therefore pursue a higher quality of life. Studies have shown that higher education not only has benefits to the individual but also society as a whole. Overall, I believe this bill would address access, which is a key deterrent to students not obtaining a higher education. By addressing access and education together, the bill adequately achieves its presented goals.

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