Josh Verges / St. Paul Pioneer Press
ST PAUL—Most Minnesota State colleges and universities lost money in 2016-17 as overall enrollment fell for a sixth consecutive year. The state's low unemployment rate and a declining number of young adults have had the state's largest higher-education system in budget-cutting mode for years. Full-year equivalent enrollment totaled 131,640 last year, down 17 percent from 2010-11. Another 1.9 percent decline is expected this year. Twenty-two schools operated the 2016-17 school year at a loss while 15 made money.
ST. PAUL — A midday Monday, Jan. 22, snowstorm that hit the Twin Cities harder than expected left hundreds of students at school or on buses well into the night Monday. The St. Paul district apologized through the media at 9:30 p.m. Monday for failing to call off classes. It was another two and a half hours before the last student was dropped off at home. While schools in the southeast metro generally were closed Monday in anticipation of the storm, Minneapolis, St. Paul and some north metro districts began the day as usual.
ST. PAUL — The Minnesota Supreme Court is considering whether to revive a case that sought to desegregate public schools in the Twin Cities metro. A state Court of Appeals panel dismissed the case in March, saying that whether students of color are getting an adequate education is a question for the Legislature, not the courts.
ST. PAUL — Minnesota last year broke a 15-year losing streak when more people moved here from another state than moved out, according to Census Bureau estimates. Experts aren't sure it's the start of a new trend, but the numbers offer hope for employers that the state's labor force could grow faster than expected. "I sure hope that it's a turning point and not a one-time blip in the data," said Steve Hine, labor market information director for the state's Department of Employment and Economic Development.
SHAKOPEE, Minn.—A Minnesota woman was scammed out of about $60,000 after meeting someone through a dating website, according to court filings. The woman's daughter reported to Shakopee police one year ago that her mother had frequent communication with someone who goes by "John Diaz," whom she'd met on Match.com.
MINNEAPOLIS—Football coach PJ Fleck's one-year contract extension won unanimous approval Thursday from the University of Minnesota's Board of Regents. Fleck was hired in January on a five-year contract that started at $3.5 million with annual increases of $50,000 through 2021. The extension keeps him under contract through 2022, when he's set to make $3.75 million. "We felt it was important after this first season to show our commitment to Coach Fleck," athletics director Mark Coyle said.
ST. PAUL. — A former St. Paul Public Schools teacher may go forward with his legal claims of race discrimination and retaliation, a judge ruled this week. Aaron Benner says he was compelled to quit in 2015 when school district leaders retaliated against him for publicly criticizing the school board's policy on racial equity. He sued the school district in May under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
ST. PAUL — For students in Jenny Wamsley's physical education and health classes at Central High School, Christmas comes about every two weeks. Donors have paid for 33 projects worth more than $15,000 through the crowdfunding site DonorsChoose.org since Wamsley transferred to Central in fall 2016. By comparison, the P.E. and health department's tax-funded equipment budget is $900 this year. "When I added it up, I just about died because that's a lot of money that's come through here," Wamsley said.
ST. PAUL — A $50 million donation for promising business majors is the lead gift in a University of St. Thomas fundraising campaign that aims to raise $200 million for student scholarships. President Julie Sullivan said the gift from the estate of commercial real estate developer Gerald Rauenhorst fits her top fundraising priority of pushing down the cost of attendance. Over the next eight years, St. Thomas hopes to double its $150 million scholarships endowment while raising an additional $50 million to be distributed more quickly.
ST. PAUL — Minnesota State is embarking on a six-year, $150 million overhaul of its computerized records system and hoping the Legislature will cover much of the cost. Trustees for the higher-education system agreed Wednesday, Nov. 15, to hire a consultant for the project, which is in its third year of planning.