By Kate Raddatz

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The disparities between rich and poor school districts have been a target of city and state officials for decades, but a new proposal would put a constitutional amendment on the ballot to give voters a way to close the achievement gap.

At a packed community meeting at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Monday, state leaders Neel Kashkari and retired justice Alan Page were joined by leaders in education and business to talk about the proposed amendment that would require Minnesota schools to meet certain standards.

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If schools don’t meet a constitutional right to quality education, parents could take legal action. The language would update a state education clause that hasn’t changed since 1857.

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Education Minnesota has strongly opposed the idea. In a statement the president of Education Minnesota said in part:

“This amendment favors parents who can afford to hire attorneys to advocate for their own children, probably at the expense of families with fewer resources. That is the opposite of education equity.”

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A recent study from the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis said Minnesota has become one of the worst states for education disparities.

Kate Raddatz