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Education week-in-review: Ghost teachers and the ghost of Jim Crow

By   /  April 24, 2015  /  Education, Education Blog, Minnesota, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia, Wisconsin  /  No Comments

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From taxpayer-funded ghosts in Philadelphia to a flawed study trying to scare people by invoking the ghost of Jim Crow, it’s been a frighteningly busy week in education.

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Man bites dog: Politicians vote against spending public money on soccer stadium

By   /  April 24, 2015  /  Budget and Spending, Issues, Minnesota, News, State Budgets, State Government  /  No Comments

Photo via Wiki Commons

Here’s a story that doesn’t often get written: Politicians in Minnesota voted against spending public money on a new stadium.

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Watchdog Podcasts: Behind the Headlines — The economics behind taxpayer-funded stadiums

By   /  April 23, 2015  /  Finances, Minnesota, Podcast, State Budgets, State Government, Watchdog Radio  /  No Comments


In this week’s episode, host Eric Boehm sits down with Victor Matheson, a professor of sports economics at The College of The Holy Cross to discuss a stunning development in Minnesota: politicians voted against using public funding for a new soccer stadium.

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Minnesota charter schools seek license to close achievement gap

By   /  April 23, 2015  /  Accountability, Education, Minnesota, News  /  No Comments

Prodeo Academy Photo

Skye Hoekstra may be doing her part to close one of the nation’s worst minority achievement gaps — on borrowed time. Her inner city kindergartners at Prodeo Academy charter school in Minneapolis have made so much progress in math and reading, they ranked in the 99th percentile nationally, midway through the school year.

Yet Minnesota refuses to recognize Hoekstra’s Nevada teaching license and master’s degree as meeting state standards. Unless she goes back to school herself to take an “Intro to Teaching Children to Read” course and other classes required by the Minnesota Board of Teaching, Hoekstra may not be back in the classroom.

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No pain, no gain for some Minnesotans seeking their missing money

By   /  April 21, 2015  /  Legislature, Minnesota, News, State Government  /  No Comments

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Gregg Peppin saw his late father’s name on the Missing Money website, which the state uses to connect people with their cash. He got pretty excited, yet months later, the Rogers resident is still waiting for a $5,000 check.

“A son or a daughter or an aunt or an uncle who are trying to do this, I understand why there’s $650 million in that account. People are not going to do this for $100 or $200 or $300, they’re just not. You’re going to go, ‘Forget it,’” said Peppin, a longtime political consultant.

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State owes Minnesotans millions, if they only knew it

By   /  April 17, 2015  /  Legislature, Minnesota, State Government, Uncategorized  /  No Comments

Watchdog Photo

It’s like winning the lottery without buying a ticket. But, odds are, you may never see the payout.

The Minnesota Commerce Department holds a $650 million jackpot of unclaimed property — mainly lost funds held by the state — waiting for tens of thousands of Minnesotans to redeem.

It’s not the government’s money. State law requires the unclaimed cash to be kept in perpetuity for the rightful owner. The state contracts with the Missing Money website to connect people with their unclaimed money, but few Minnesotans hear about it.

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