2018 PPI Score
School Choice Score: 60%
Individual Tax Credit/Deduction
Minnesota’s K–12 Education Credit program was enacted in 1997 and launched in 1998. The individual tax credit program offers families a refundable tax credits for non-tuition educational expenses like tutoring, educational after-school programs and books.
Individual Tax Credit/Deduction
This individual tax deduction program, enacted in 1955, allows parents to deduct educational expenses, including tuition, tutoring, books and more. Eligible expenses reduce a family’s taxable income when taxes are filed.
Charter Schools Score: 92%
Minnesota has been a leader in charter school authorizing since it established the first charter law in 1992. The state has a wide variety of authorizers. They authorize a diverse array of schools that have significant autonomy.
The state has recently forced authorizers to regulate schools in a detrimental, top-down fashion under the pretense of improving accountability. Unfortunately, the state’s actions have served to suppress innovation without improving accountability. Despite this, other components of Minnesota’s charter law, including equitable operational funding, secures Minnesota’s place in the top five of CER’s ranking.
- Law passed in 1991 (the first in the country)
- Number of charters: 180
- Estimated charter enrollment: 53,400 (up 11 percent from 2015- 16)
- Virtual charter schools allowed
- Minnesota does not cap the number of students who attend charter schools
- Minnesota does not automatically fund pre-k in charter schools, but a school can apply to deliver pre-k and, if approved, must submit to additional regulations
- Minnesota wins high marks for “authorizing” because a variety of entities may authorize schools, including local school boards, intermediate school boards, educational district cooperatives, nonprofit organizations (including those formed solely to authorize charter schools), public postsecondary institutions, and private colleges. However, in order to authorize schools, these organizations need to receive approval from the state commissioner of education. This requirement presents an unnecessary hurdle and often ensures that strings are attached to charter approvals.
- Minnesota earns 13 of 15 points for “growth” because there is no cap on charter schools and growth has been steady in the last decade.
- Charter schools are exempt from most regulations that affect districts schools. They are not exempt from state teachers’ licensure requirements, which can prevent charter operators from assembling the staff of their choice.
Minnesota receives a 10 out of 15 for “funding equity.” Minnesota law prohibits charters from using state funds to buy land or buildings, but it does allow charters to lease space (though not directly from authorizers). Beginning in FY 2017, charter schools received long-term facilities maintenance revenue, like their district counterparts. The statute allows charters to use this funding as they see fit.
Teacher Quality Score: 72%
Delivering Well Prepared Teachers C-
Expanding the Pool of Teachers D-
Identifying Effective Teachers C
Retaining Effective Teachers D
Exiting Ineffective Teachers D