By Reg Chapman

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Tuesday marked the first day of school for thousands of students across the Twin Cities.

WCCO’s Reg Chapman caught up with kids and the special visitors who welcomed them back.

Students at Carver Elementary School in Maplewood were greeted with high-fives on this first day of school.

“I have three kids and it can be intense at times. My husband is a St. Paul school teacher so everybody goes back to school,” Serena Vruno said.

Vruno has children in high school, middle school and elementary school.

Vruno said it’s a mixed bag of emotions as a mom.

“Excited, sad that they are getting older, but mostly excited for them because they are so excited and happy to be back,” Vruno said.

Gov. Mark Dayton was all smiles as he welcomed students back.

This is Dayton’s last first day of school as governor, and he said he hopes for a better outcome when it comes to test scores.

“The last test scores were disappointing and they didn’t show the progress we’d like to see,” Dayton said. “Some of the learning differences area really tough to penetrate — poverty, single parents home, drug addiction — those things are very, very, impactful.”

St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter greeted students at Barack and Michelle Obama Elementary school.

“So you were reading over the summer, so that means you are ready to go,” Carter said.

Students at the school spent time with the mayor and superintendent, Dr. Joe Gothard.

Both say they’re prepared to do what they can to make sure schools give kids the education they need to be successful.

St. Paul and Minneapolis schools say they’re dealing with increased educational costs and budget cuts.

Voters will be asked to support school funding increases at the polls this November.

Reg Chapman

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