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Statement From Education Organizations To K-12 Education Policy Committee

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To K-12 Education Conference Committee members: Currently Minnesota’s Post Secondary Enrollment Options Act allows high school faculty school  faculty and staff to tell students and families that they can save money by taking dual high school/college credit courses. But the law prohibits colleges and universities from doing the same thing. Minnesota should encourage both secondary and post-secondary institutions to inform families and students about dual credit options, As representatives of students, families, and educators, we strongly encourage you to retain the vitally important House language that removes six words preventing colleges and universities from telling students and parents that they can save money via the Post-Secondary Enrollment Option. HF 2397, Line 86.31, amending Minnesota Statute 124D.09, Subdivision 9a. As we work with families throughout the state, we find many are not aware of PSEO, much less that their youngsters can save money by participating in this program. As legislators, you often request a “fiscal impact.” impact.” Providing fiscal impact information to families and students also makes sense. Research and evidence consistently shows that post-secondary attainment increases dramatically for high-school students who get a jump on credits and who experience success early with higher education. This is true for all kinds of students – rural, urban and suburban. Moreover, the average Minnesota college debt ranks fourth in the country at $31,497 per graduate, according to the Institute for College Access and Success. A number of Minnesota high schools routinely tell students and families they can save money by taking Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, or College in the Schools (CIS)/concurrent enrollment courses. For example, North St. Paul High School points out that via CIS, its students earned 1,286 college credits in the 2012-13 2012-13 school year. The website explains, “This translates to a tuition savings of more than $595,000 for the families of those students who take advantage of this opportunity.”   Mankato High Schools tell students that taking their courses offered in cooperation with higher education institutions “is just like getting a scholarship without having to apply or earning advanced placement credit without having to take the AP test.”  test.”  Both examples contain helpful information for families. We think the same kind of information about PSEO should be available from colleges and universities. Knocking down barriers between high school and higher-education, and reducing costs for that attainment is absolutely crucial for our state’s long-term long-term economic competitiveness. We encourage you to adopt the House provision in the final conference committee report. We’ll help however we can. Thank you. Sincerely, Mary Cecconi, Parents United Maureen Ramirez and Dane Smith, Growth and Justice Kelly Charpentier-Berg, Minnesota State College Student Association Steve Allen, Minnesota Association of Alternative Programs Elaine Salinas, Migizi Communications Chicano Latino Affairs Council Vina Kay, Organizing Apprenticeship Project

 

Curt Johnson and Bob Wedl, Education Evolving  Jim Bartholomew, Minnesota Business Partnership Amy Walstien, Minnesota Chamber of Commerce Daniel Sellers, MinnCAN Marisa Gustafson and Joe Nathan, Center for School Change  Change  

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