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Mayor, School Leaders Criticize GOP Education Bill

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ST. PAUL  (AP) – Mayors and superintendents from three of Minnesota’s largest school districts are criticizing a Republican-sponsored education bill moving through the Legislature.

Minneapolis, St. Paul and Duluth have a disproportionate number of the state’s English language learners. City leaders say the bill would cut literacy programs for children.

Minneapolis Mayor R. T. Rybak says the Republican proposal sets a goal of all children reading by third grade. But Rybak says it’s the “wrong idea” to cut funding for young children, “and pretend that giving them a test in third grade will somehow teach them to read for a lifetime.”

Education advocacy groups say the proposal would boost per-pupil funding but freeze special education and compensatory aid affecting a disproportionate number of children of color and in poverty.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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