Column: Back-to-school an exciting time in Edina

BY DARIO ANSELMO
GUEST COLUMNIST

The air is turning cooler, fall sports have begun and a few trees are showing their colors—signaling it’s almost back-to-school time for thousands of students across the state.

Here in Edina, we are blessed to have wonderful educators, parents and school staff dedicated to providing every child with an outstanding education.

At the Capitol, legislators are also dedicated to ensuring every child can access a world-class education, and many of the policies, funding initiatives and reforms we advanced in St. Paul this session will make back-to-school time even better.

First, one of my top priorities this session was ensuring we provide needed funding to our schools. In the final legislation signed into law, we included a robust 2 percent increase on the per pupil funding formula,
placing more money in every classroom.

We tied in that $1.35 billion increase in education funding with a number of meaningful reforms to improve student learning, address our state’s teacher shortage and help our schools hire and keep the best teachers in the classroom.

A provision I spearheaded was also signed into law that gives Edina students first priority to go to Edina schools, streamlining the open enrollment lottery process. What’s more, it’s not just K-12 students heading to school this fall, but many little learners are going as well, starting preschool and other early education programs.

This year we continued to advocate for our nation-leading mixed-delivery system of early learning programming including scholarships, voluntary pre-kindergarten and school readiness. We want to ensure that kids and their families are able to choose programs that best fit the needs of their child, putting our youngest on a path to succeed in K-12 and beyond.

Also, as parents and kids complete their back-to-school shopping, don’t forget that there are two tax programs in Minnesota that could help you save money on essential needs for your K-12 students including school supplies, music lessons, tutoring and more.

The K12 Education Subtraction and Credit can help you save money on many of the everyday things your kids use between homework and extra-curricular activities, so don’t forget to keep your receipts! If you need more information, don’t hesitate to contact my office, or you can also learn more on the Minnesota Department of Revenue’s website.

So as families get ready for another busy fall, I want to wish all of our students, teachers and staff a wonderful school year. Good luck and enjoy a great year.

I welcome you to contact my office at any time to share your thoughts, concerns and ideas about what you would like to see happen at the Capitol. Your input is invaluable and helps me better represent the voices and priorities of our community. I can be reached by phone at 651-296-4363 or by email at [email protected] It is an honor and privilege to serve as your voice at the Capitol.

Dario Anselmo is a Republican member of the Minnesota House of Representatives, representing Edina in House District 49A.