However, Minnesota seems to use their money more efficiently than most other states with one of the highest graduation rates across the U.S with an 87% graduation rate within four years of starting the 9th grade.
Despite Minnesota ranking only 29th in FY 2005 for K-12 expenditure as percentage of income and spend $1.95 less per $1000 of income compared to the national average, Minnesota ranked #1 in academic achievement in 2007-2008.
As much as Minnesota's K-12 education seems to be in fairly good shape compared to the national average, the state is lagging behind when it comes to graduation rates among minorities. This is particularly true for the black and hispanic minority.
Looking at historical trends it seems there is reason to fear for the State's K-12 education quality. According to the think tank 'Minnesota 2020' the state's education system is slipping and is no longer the benchmark that the 'Minnesota Miracle' produced, but no more than average or mediocre.
Minnesota's Slip Toward Mediocrity from Minnesota 2020 on Vimeo.
Is the time ripe for a "new Minnesota Miracle" or do we need to realize that the education system should perhaps not be about miracles but considerate, consistent, well-thought-through policies that reflects the importance of K-12 education?
After all, The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis has found that dollars invested in Early Childhood Education "yield extraordinary public returns".