Gov. Tim Walz announced the allocation of $103 million in federal American Rescue Plan funds on Friday to support Minnesota students, drive workforce development, and shelter vulnerable Minnesotans before winter.
“President Biden’s American Rescue Plan delivers direct relief to Americans by providing resources to beat this pandemic and build a stronger economy for generations to come. That’s exactly what we’re prioritizing here in Minnesota,” Walz said in a statement. “With this funding, we are helping students recover from the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, driving workforce development in critical, good-paying fields, and providing safe shelter to the Minnesotans who need it most before our harsh winter months.”
Statewide assessment results for 2021 show declines in the number of students meeting or exceeding grade-level standards compared to 2019 after a year of virtual learning and disruptions from COVID-19.
In math, 44% of students in grades three to eight and 11 who took the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCA) or Minnesota Test of Academic Skills (MTAS) met or exceeded grade-level standards, down from 55% in 2019. Student reading proficiency dropped seven percentage points to 53% from 2019, while science proficiency dropped eight percentage points to 43%.
ACCESS for ELLs (English language learners) measures students’ English language proficiency. Of the students who took the ACCESS for ELLs in 2021, 9% were proficient in English, a three percentage point decrease from 2019.