Dayton vetoed Teach for America grant


Here’s another intriguing end-of-session item.

Gov. Mark Dayton has vetoed $1.5 million in funding for Teach for America programs in Minnesota.

It was the DFL governor’s only line-item veto in the higher education bill he signed into law Friday afternoon.

Dayton explained his action in a letter, noting that Teach for America in fiscal 2011 reported its revenues nationwide exceeded its expenses by more than $50 million. With those financial resources, Dayton said he did not understand why the program needed a state grant.

The governor also said he was concerned about the way Teach for America was selected for the state grant. He said there was no competitive process allowing other applications to be considered.


This earned the governor a warm fuzzy from a high-profile proponent of a public education agenda that works, Diane Ravitch.

For his recognition that Minnesota needs a cadre of highly professional, experienced teachers, for his willingness to stand up to the fawning media hype about TFA, Mark Dayton joins the honor roll as a champion of American education.

I have mixed feelings about TFA, because I know a few young people that were involved, and, while none chose careers in education, at least not right away, I know they sincerely gave it their best while there, and believed in what they were doing. I also recognize that it can be a tool of the “school deform” (not a typo) movement, though not the most heinous in its contemptible arsenal.

By the way, conservative claims that the DFL-passed education budget represents the “largest increase ever” do not bear scrutiny.