ST. PAUL -- New Minnesota Department of Education Commissioner Heather Mueller is ready to hit the ground running.

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Mueller began her new role Thursday, following the resignation of former Commissioner Mary Cathryn Ricker.

She says this is going to be an important summer as they work to recover from the COVID school year.

We know as educators, our school districts know their communities, students and schools. What we are able to provide is some of the components to allow them to do their work, as well as some additional resources to expand their opportunities with some additional funds.

She says a large piece of their planning comes from Governor Tim Walz' proposed $150-million summer education package.

 

The funding would help provide additional summer learning programs for students across the state.

 

We know this package is incredibly important because we want to maintain the continuity for our student, and provide expanded opportunities, not just in academics, but also social-emotional well being and mental health.

Walz has urged the Legislature to approve the package by April 15 so school districts have enough time to plan for any potential summer offerings for students.

She says while it's still too early to predict what the start of next year will look like, the distribution of the vaccine does have them cautiously opportunistic a sense of normalcy will be restored.

 

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