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Back to class: It's the 1st day of school for hundreds of thousands of MN kids

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Summer vacation is in the rearview mirror as thousands of students across Minnesota hopped off the bus for the first day of school Tuesday.

More than 847,000 students, including 58,800 kindergartners, are back in school this week, Cambray Crozier, Gov. Mark Dayton and Lt. Gov. Tina Smith's deputy press secretary, tweeted.

To mark the first official day of school, Gov. Dayton, Lt. Gov. Smith and Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellious greeted students at Brimhall Elementary in Roseville Tuesday.

This is the second year where the majority of kindergartners will go to school all day, free of charge. Of the 65,700 kindergartners this fall, 99.6 percent will go all day, free of charge, MinnPost says.

All-day kindergarten was a major part of Dayton's education plan. He also fought for universal pre-K during this year's legislative session, but it was shot down by Republicans.

However, an unscientific poll at the State Fair this year found 59.7 percent of those surveyed support a publicly funded pre-K program for all 4-year-olds in the state.

Tuesday wasn't the first day of school for all Minnesota students – a few dozen public school districts got waivers to start class before Labor Day, including Minneapolis, Marshall, Stillwater and St. Cloud, the Minnesota Department of Education notes. (Minnesota law requires schools to get a waiver from the state if they want to start before Labor Day.)

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