Today, I joined more than 60 Minnesota legislators in issuing a statement ahead of planned visits by U.S. Representatives Ilhan Omar, Cori Bush, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley, and Rashida Talib to Minnesota to protest the construction of the Line 3 pipeline.
In the statement, we made clear our opposition to the D.C. ‘Squad’, led by Minneapolis Congresswoman Ilhan Omar. In coming to Northern Minnesota to protest Line 3, they will only further obstruct a thoroughly vetted, tested, and approved project. Their presence only serves to incite obstructionists when it’s clear Line 3 has brought incredible benefits to the state of Minnesota.
Line 3 is one of the most important projects for Minnesota’s future. It will not only modernize and improve safety for current oil operations, it will also provide jobs and careers for hundreds of workers in Northern Minnesota. The permits are issued, the lawsuits are settled, it’s time to complete the work.
I want to thank law enforcement for keeping Enbridge employees and residents safe during construction and I encourage everyone to allow the project to keep moving forward without interruption until it’s finished.
Updated Student Test Scores
Nearly 18 months removed from the initial shutdowns, data has emerged that begins to reveal the full extent of the damage done to students.
At the end of August, the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) released statewide assessment results that was collected during the pandemic. The data is startling and underscores the challenges facing schools as they work to make up for lost time.
The results showed proficiency rates fell 11 percentage points to 44% in math (grades 3-8 and 11) and 7 points to 53% in reading (grades 3-8 and 10), since 2019. Additionally, proficiency rates fell 8 percentage points to 43% in science (grades 5, 8, and once in high school) and 3 points to 9% for English Language Learners.
These results should be a massive wake-up call for every elected official, teacher, and parent in Minnesota. With our education disparities already among the worst in the country before COVID, it’s clear that after a year of forced school closures our minority students are falling even further behind.
Democrats have controlled every lever of our state’s education policy for more than a decade, and despite billions in funding, our test scores and graduation rates continue to remain flat or are falling.
Instead of focusing on concrete ways to improve testing results and prepare the next generation for the jobs of the future, Democrats and their allies are pushing controversial curriculum that teaches students that capitalism, our constitutional republic, and other American institutions are fundamentally racist systems, and therefore, anyone promoting free markets or defending American patriotism is supporting a racist worldview.
At the state level, we must be committed to academic rigor and limiting the role of the state to set a high bar of academic excellence where merit still matters while equipping students with the reading, writing, and math skills that are necessary for a great education.
Staying in Touch
Please be sure to reach out to me if you have any questions or concerns. I can be reached by phone at 651-296-6746 or via email at rep.sondra.erickson.
Have a great Labor Day weekend,