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News & Views of Phillips Since 1976
Tuesday July 16th 2024

From the Desk of State Representative Hodan Hassan: September ’23

Rep. Hodan Hassan. Photo Credit: MN House Photography


I hope you are enjoying these summer months in our beautiful city. I’ve been incredibly blessed to get to spend more time with my family during this interim while hitting the ground running to begin preparing for next year’s session.

On July 1st, many of the transformational laws we passed this legislative session took effect, including increases in funding for education, renewable energy, public safety, and elections. Included are free school breakfast and lunch for all K-12 students, protecting healthcare workers against violence, limits on no-knock warrants, free college tuition for income-eligible students, and more. On August 1st, more went into effect, including the legalization of cannabis and expungement for many affected by the prohibition.

Included in these new laws are a handful of items relevant to the upcoming start of the 2023-2024 school year. With back-to-school just around the corner, I want to take a moment to tell you about some of the changes you may notice this school year. I am incredibly excited to share for the first time in decades, we have fully funded our public schools. Previous years of gridlock have kept us from investing adequate resources to our state’s young learners, but under DFL leadership, things are going to be different moving forward. Our investment includes $78 million for Minneapolis public schools, where we have stark outcome disparities among students of color and below-average literacy rates. This investment will help improve operations in every Minneapolis public school so our kids can get a world-class education, regardless of zip code.

The change many families will feel most immediately is Universal School Meals, which ensures every public school student will be able to receive free breakfast and lunch every day. This means no more negative lunch accounts and lunchroom bullying around food insecurity. We saw far too many kids fall in the gap between need-based free and reduced lunch eligibility and not being able to afford to pay full-price, causing kids to go hungry while trying to learn and prepare for their futures. By providing this to all students, we ensure no kid goes hungry or suffers academically due to lack of food access. Students will also have access to free menstrual products at school. Additionally, we significantly increased per-pupil funding, reducing the Special Education cross-subsidy by nearly half and ensuring our schools can afford to provide students with the tools and resources they need and deserve.

We also made a few changes to graduation requirements and access to high school courses. My bill to institute a personal finance course for graduating high schoolers will be implemented, as well as funding for computer science courses statewide. These are both measures to help prepare our students for the 21st century job market and life after graduation. I’m also proud to say another bill I authored, the Increase Teachers of Color Act, has taken effect and will help Minnesota to make big steps toward attracting and retaining teachers of color so all of Minnesota’s kids can see themselves represented in the classroom. When our kids have someone to look up to in which they see themselves, their chances of success flourish. Additionally, The Ethnic Studies for All bill ensures all students have access to Ethnic Studies instruction in Minnesota. When students’ experiences and backgrounds are reflected in their curriculum, they become more engaged in learning, they have a greater sense of belonging, and they achieve better educational outcomes. I’m incredibly excited to see what the future of our students holds because of these investments.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to me if there’s anything I can do to be of assistance. Please email me at You can also follow my Facebook page and sign up for my newsletter on the House website. Take care and have a great rest of the summer.

In solidarity,
Representative Hodan Hassan

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