EDUCATION

I have been tireless in my fight supporting public education. At the local, state, and federal level I have been a fierce advocate. From pre-k through 12 to our public colleges and universities I have strived to ensure educators have the resources they need to prepare the next generation for success. Through the passage of last fall’s referendum, Moorhead has shown its willingness to support our community’s schools, but we need to continue our efforts in St. Paul to set our education system up for long-term success.

  • As a social studies teacher, I’ve seen the struggles our students and teachers experience when they don’t receive the necessary support. I will continue the fight for adequate funding for our schools. Since 2003, Minnesota has failed to fully fund its public K-12 schools. I will work to make sure our schools are not only fully funded, but also funded in a way that is equitable to those of us in greater Minnesota as well.

  • Having attended public school in the Twin Cities, I’ve seen the disparities in Minnesota’s education system on full display. It is clear more needs to be done to address the opportunity gap our students of color and students of lower socioeconomic status face. By supporting programs that encourage more teachers of color, fully funding community schools, and growing after school programming, we create an education that works for all students.

  • One of the first things anyone says when they find out I’m a teacher is “So you're poor?” I believe that in a state that espouses it value of education, we must treat our educators with respect. We need to pay our educators a livable wage that respects the work they do for all of Minnesota. This also includes addressing the crippling student debt crisis our graduates face. I fully support loan forgiveness programs for students who dedicate themselves to serving in our public school systems.

  • In 2020, we are only beginning to address the issue of mental health conditions for students and educators. We must continue the work that Rep. Lien has begun in providing for mental health needs in both our communities and our schools. Minnesota has an average student to counselor ratio of 723 to 1. The national average is 482 to 1. We need to do better in addressing the mental health needs of our students and our teachers.

  • Pre-kindergarten is essential in preparing children for success in elementary school and beyond. The results are clear, students who receive pre-k programs have stronger reading, writing, and math skills. I believe that all students should be given every tool to succeed and therefore I support Minnesota enacting a universal pre-k program.

  • As Student Body President at a public university, I’ve seen the detrimental effect the lack of funding for our public universities has. Students are saddled with more debt than at any time before in history, and still our universities struggle to offer the classes students need. Our public colleges and universities offer both the career and technical trainings Minnesotans need to propel our economy forward. I believe the state legislature must fulfill its statutory obligation of 66% funding and begin to find solutions to the student debt crisis.

  • Child care costs in Minnesota are some of the highest in the country. This makes the prospect of having a child all the more difficult for young families, many of whom are already struggling with debt greater than any generation previous. We must look for solutions to reduce these costs.

  • Special education programs are vital in supporting our students with disabilities and their transition into adulthood. We must address the shortage of trained special education teachers.

Will Hagen for State House

Mail: hagenforhouse@gmail.com

Phone number: 1 (651) 470-8186

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Prepared and Paid for by Will Hagen for State House.