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Dayton to superintendents: we need more graduates, fewer dropouts

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Governor Mark Dayton led a push to get Minnesota school districts more state funding this year. Now Dayton wants those districts to issue more diplomas.

During a speech to school superintendents Tuesday, Dayton challenged them to suggest ways to improve the state's graduation rate. The Associated Press reports the governor cited the correlation between education and income, saying over a lifetime a college graduate typically earns triple the income of a high school dropout.

Minnesota has made it a goal to reach the 90 percent graduation rate for high school students by the end of the decade. That would be up from 77 percent.

One superintendent who spoke to the AP says making it easier for high school students to earn college credits would help with retention. Dennis Carlson of the Anoka-Hennepin district says limits on class size mean some students are excluded from college credit courses.

MPR reports Dayton also told the superintendents he wants to help relieve unfunded mandates districts have recently been saddled with. Specifically, the governor mentioned a teacher evaluation requirement that could cost districts up to $200 million.

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