For Immediate Release
June 15, 2021
Contact: Samantha Hanson
New Data from Minnesota Department of Education Shows Increasing Gaps in High School Graduation Rates Among Children of Color
Minnesota must pass the Page Amendment to begin to narrow and close the gaps.
ST. PAUL, MINN. – On June 10, the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) released data showing the four-year high school graduation rate for Black and English learning students declined in 2020, increasing the graduation rate gaps between white and Asian students and other students of color.
The Page Amendment, the proposed amendment to the Minnesota state constitution to establish a civil right to quality public education for all Minnesota children, is the first legislative proposal that can narrow and close these gaps.
Racial and socioeconomic gaps in graduation rates have persisted for decades in the state of Minnesota. Minnesota continues to have the worst graduation rates for Black and Latinx students in the country, and third-to-last in the country in graduation rates for American Indian students. Graduation rate gaps by socioeconomic status have remained wide, too.
“The disparities in four-year high school graduation rates have been well documented for more than two decades, but the state of Minnesota has made no progress toward closing them for Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) and low-income white students,” said Nevada Littlewolf, campaign manager and executive director of Our Children MN. “Obtaining a diploma is critical to a child’s opportunities to be employed, own a home, earn a living wage, afford healthcare and more. The Page Amendment emphasizes quality public education for all, ensuring that each Minnesota child starts kindergarten with the promise that the state will do everything in its power to provide a quality public education that ends when they cross a stage one day to accept their diploma.”
The Page Amendment was introduced in the House of Representatives by Representative Hodan Hassan and then in the Senate by Senator Michelle Benson. The amendment is supported by a bipartisan coalition of educators, families, and education, nonprofit, business and government leaders.
Our Children MN is an organization working to inform Minnesotans of the state’s education gaps and to build support to pass the Page Amendment. Learn more about the Page Amendment at https://ourchildrenmn.com/.