Education State of the States

State of the States 2012: Alabama, Minnesota

February 28, 2012 1 min read
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Here are summaries of recent annual addresses by governors around the country.

ALABAMA

Gov. Robert Bentley (R) • Feb. 7

In his annual address to lawmakers, Gov. Robert Bentley urged them to allow a “limited number” of charter schools to begin operating in the state. Alabama now is just one of a handful of states that do not allow for the creation of charter schools.

Separately, despite budgetary pressures, Gov. Bentley pledged to protect funding for education initiatives, including a literacy program, distance learning, and a program aimed at boosting mathematics and science education, as well as the state’s prekindergarten program. “We will make sure children are ready to compete and learn, knowing that they have access to the health-care services they need and deserve,” he said.

—Alyson Klein

MINNESOTA

Gov. Mark Dayton (D) • Feb. 15

In his second State of the State address, Gov. Mark Dayton highlighted a number of K-12-related accomplishments from 2011, including a $190 million increase in spending on public schools, a roughly 1 percent increase over the previous biennium. While lawmakers agreed to raise the per-pupil aid formula by $50 per student in the current biennium, that increase comes on the heels of a more than $2 billion delay in state aid payments to public schools that helped the governor and lawmakers break a nearly three-week-long budget impasse that shut down the government last summer.

Gov. Dayton unveiled no new education policy initiatives for 2012, but called on lawmakers who propose legislation related to public schools to do so “in cooperation with teachers, rather than in conflict with them. The best education for all Minnesota students should not be a political ploy.”

—Lesli A. Maxwell

A version of this article appeared in the February 29, 2012 edition of Education Week as State of the States

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