The speech is as follows:
“My time here at the Legislature has been quite interesting and in most part has been very exciting. I am quite honored to be here at a time such as this. I sit on the Education Reform Committee, a committee that has the opportunity and power to create laws, laws in my mind that are fair and equitable.
I have heard within the Education committee a commitment to ensuring every child in the State of MN is succeeding. A commitment to closing the achievement gap—which is one of the worst in the nation. I have heard that commitment over and over coming from the Republican Party.
You know what? Integration is about more than closing the achievement gap; it’s also about how we are preparing all our children for a future where their success depends on their ability to collaborate with people that do not look like them in their community and in their job, while creating healthy communities.
Integration rules gave us a reason to be intentional in providing an educational system that worked toward every child in the State of MN attending a school of their choice.
And so to help close the achievement gap the Republicans believe we as a state no longer need to be committed to the importance of integration in our public schools.
As a body we, you, have the opportunity to look at and create reforms that work so no child is left behind. You know, stealing crayons from one child’s desk to give to another is not reform, nor is it a solution to make sure all of our student’s succeed. My chief concern in defunding this program and changing its purpose is that it unfairly targets schools found in my community.
Where I was raised we had this saying called “lip service.” We all know what “lip service” is right? It’s where you say a lot of stuff but it means nothing because your actions speak louder than your words.
When it comes to our children, all our children- the next generation of Minnesotans—creating a system of winners and losers and calling it reform is not only irresponsible, it’s a clear signal of misplaced priorities and lip service.”