UPDATE: Dayton challenges Minn. school heads - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

UPDATE: Dayton challenges Minn. school heads

BROOKLYN PARK, Minn. (AP) -- Gov. Mark Dayton is challenging school leaders to find ways to lower Minnesota dropout rates, saying a diploma is essential to success in society.

Speaking Tuesday to a conference of superintendents, Dayton says he wants to focus on ways to keep students engaged through graduation. Minnesota recently set a goal of a 90 percent graduation rate by 2020.

Dayton also promised the school chiefs he would look next year to address state requirements that don't come with adequate state funding. He highlighted a new teacher assessment program as one area where schools are being asked to shoulder a financial burden to meet a state objective.

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BROOKLYN PARK, Minn. (AP) - Gov. Mark Dayton is going before an audience of Minnesota school leaders ahead of an academic year in which districts can expect more money from the state.

Dayton's appearance Tuesday at a school superintendent conference will offer a chance to recap the education funding boost in the new state budget. More than $485 million in new money over the next two years is bound for public schools and early childhood programs.

All schools will see an increase in their per-pupil aid both years. And beginning in the 2014-15 school year, every district that wants to offer all-day kindergarten will get state aid to cover those costs.

Even with the infusion, some districts plan to ask voters this fall for additional aid generated through local property taxes.

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