“There is nothing we can’t accomplish when we come together.”
That’s how Minnesota English teacher Alex Grosz described Educators for Excellence-Minnesota’s annual summit held in early March. The members’ meeting was anchored on the theme “I Teach Love,” attracting more than 100 local educators, and featuring inspiration from speakers, teacher-led sessions on topics like reducing discipline disparities, and the release of a new paper on equitable school funding.
DeRay Mckesson, civil rights activist, and Catherine Lhamon, Chair of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, appointed by President Obama in 2016, headlined the event for educators in the North Star State.
Lhamon urged teachers to exercise their control and communicate equity and belief in students through their action: “Local control matters more than ever.”
“There is nothing more hyperlocal than your classrooms and what you will do for the children in front of you every day.”
Educators also unveiled a new policy paper, “Our students can’t wait: Ensuring equitable access to funding and resources.” Minnesota’s opportunity gap—which some call one of the worst in the nation—fueled 10 teachers from the E4E-Minnesota Policy Action Team to craft the paper, featuring three main recommendations:
- Increase financial transparency by reporting what funds and expenses are given to individual students, and include teacher salaries.
- Ensure equitable access to high-quality teachers by investing in programs or policies that seek to attract and retain effective and experienced teachers to work in high-poverty schools, and empower principals to support these teacher leaders.
- Incentivize collaboration and ensure equity across schools by evaluating how resources can be distributed equitably regardless of school type, and explore opportunities to collaborate and engage in strategic partnerships between public charter and traditional district schools.
Download the full educator-produced policy paper.
Interested in learning more about the planning process or educator support provided at the summit? Reach out for a connection with Educators for Excellence-Minnesota.