Learning How to Be an Ally, Part 2: Education

A child who is loved, nurtured, educated, mentored, supported, and healed is more likely to face adversities with resilience and contribute to the economic strength of state and country. Dealing statewide in latent fashion — with stress-related healthcare costs, untreated trauma including substance abuse, lack of trained workforce, and limited wages that continue cycles of financial trauma and sometimes criminal behavior — is much more expensive in the long run.

Research is clear that early childhood development is crucial, which relates to family strength financially and emotionally, which relates to educational and employment opportunities, which relates to housing stability and food security.

The logical way to a more prosperous future for every Minnesotan family and company is to enhance the support available from community. The notion that individuals make their own destiny alone is archaic and inaccurate.

As the pandemic reminds us, teachers, nurses, government officials, manufacturers, farmers are all vital to a functioning society, without which nothing is accomplished.

Prioritizing early childhood development and education is why so many policy makers and advocates — from the Federal Reserve Bank of Minnesota to Hormel, and urban to rural leaders — are pushing to use this rebuilding time to reimagine our approach to education as the foundational building block to everything we aspire to as a state.

Other states, frankly, are well ahead of us on this commitment to strengthening economy and disparities through educational systems changes.

There are tremendous challenges facing Minnesota’s educational system. In addition to the long-lasting disparities between students of color and white youth in our state — among the worst in the nation — the pandemic is expected to have ripple effects because of the trauma, distance learning gaps, and reduction in relationship building with adults and peers that is crucial to youth development. The inevitable impact this has on Minnesota’s future is worrisome to many.

In this Education Action Guide, we look at these questions:

Action Steps

Visit OurChildrenMN.com for more about the Page Amendment in Minnesota

For a global reach, explore the #One Billion Voices For Education Campaign, which is seeking to serve the estimated 1.5 billion learners had their education stopped or interrupted.

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