Mayor, school leaders criticize GOP education bill

Mayors and superintendents from 3 of Minnesota’s largest school districts are criticizing a Republican-sponsored education bill moving through the Legislature.

Minneapolis, St. Paul and Duluth have a disproportionate number of the state’s English language learners. City leaders say the bill would cut literacy programs for children.

Minneapolis Mayor R. T. Rybak says the Republican proposal sets a goal of all children reading by third grade. But Rybak says it’s the “wrong idea” to cut funding for young children, “and pretend that giving them a test in third grade will somehow teach them to read for a lifetime.”

Minnesota Public Radio ( http://bit.ly/j5vxIu) reports education advocacy groups say the proposal would boost per-pupil funding but freeze special education and compensatory aid affecting a disproportionate number of children of color and in poverty.

Information from: Minnesota Public Radio News, http://www.mpr.org