The Minnesota Re-Miracle: the fight is on

DFL House leaders introduced a bill to reform education funding in Minnesota, essentially restoring the “Minnesota Miracle” crafted in the 1970s that shifted the burden from property taxes to state income taxes. Here’s the story from Jon Collins, the legislative correspondent shared by the Mesabi Daily News, Hibbing Daily Tribune and Grand Rapids Herald-Review. It’s probably a symbolic move, as the bill would undo educational changes implemented under Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty and is unlikely to gain his blessing. But it’s an important step in the negotiations.

Everything that makes Minnesota better than its midwestern, farming, quasi-Rust Belt counterparts has (alas, had) to do with our superior educational philosophy — better schools where every kid gets a shot at advanced curriculum and/or vocational training regardless of where they live. The inherent message was that all regions have value to Minnesota and should enjoy an equal quality of life. The son of a fishing guide in Lake of the Woods County, the daughter of an Iron Range miner and the children of a Edina financial analyst are all entitled to a comparable education. Everyone wins in the end when the kids do well, which is why Minnesota’s quality of life — from health to the arts — is better than average … better than Wisconsin and way better than Alabama. Remember, a well educated child is more likely to pursue a high-paying job, which furthermore makes them more likely to move to Edina and become a Republican complaining about the taxes that further educates the next generation.

It’s the Circle of Life, Rep. Simba (R-The Serengeti). I’m only sort of kidding.

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