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Walz at SMSU to discuss rural Minnesota teacher shortages

MARSHALL — Tim Walz makes his first official visit as governor of Minnesota to Marshall today when he attends a meeting at Southwest Minnesota State University on teacher shortages in rural Minnesota.

It’s his first trip to the region since he and his wife, Gwen, held a meet-and-greet and family gathering at the 19&75 Cafe in Ivanhoe a year ago after being sworn in as Minnesota’s governor. The first lady is from the Ivanhoe area and the family got together to celebrate her mother Linn Whipple’s birthday.

The meeting will start at 2 p.m. in the conference center with SMSU President Dr. Kumara Jayasuriya greeting the governor and other visitors. Walz is then scheduled to make his opening remarks.

Education issues are among the governor’s top objectives heading into the opening of the 2020 Legislative session Feb. 11.

Walz’s education agenda includes significantly reducing eliminating the need for local referendums to fund school construction projects. Walz was able increase per-pupil spending by 2% last session and further subsidized special education. He also wants to provide all Minnesota children with a free pre-kindergarten option.

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