Minnesota offers its citizens a range of school choice options.
Public School Choice:
Minnesota offers families school choice options within the public education system. The Education Commission of the States reports that Minnesota’s inter-district open enrollment policy allows students to transfer between public schools with few limitations. According to the Center for Education Reform, about 30% of students in the state of Minnesota use some method of school choice.
Private School Choice:
Minnesota operates a tax credit and a tax deduction program for families to use on a variety of educational expenses, including books, tutors, and school tuition. This tax deduction can be worth up to 100% of the amount that the family spends on education, or a maximum $1,625 for a child in grades K-6 and $2,500 for a child in grades 7-12. In 2010, over 56,000 families participated in this tax credit program.
Minnesota is also a leader in the national charter school movement. The Center for Education Reform reports that it has one of the nation’s strongest charter school laws. Charter schools are granted a significant amount of autonomy, and there are many independent authorizers throughout the state. The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools reports that in 2013, over 40,000 students were enrolled in the state’s 148 charter schools.
Minnesota does not have a state-led virtual school but it has a state-led online learning initiative, the Minnesota Learning Commons (MnLC), which acts a portal for students to have access to courses and resources. It also has eight full-time online charter schools, and district programs are available in 24 public schools. According to Keeping Pace with K-12 Online Learning, there were over 76,000 online courses enrolled during the 2011-2012 school year. There were also 18 full-time online public school providers enrolling over 8,000 full-time students as of the 2010-2011 school year. In 2013, there were 26 online district-wide public school providers.
<a href="http://www.schooldatadirect.org/app/location/q/stid=24/llid=111/stllid=149/locid=24/stype=/catid=-1/secid=-1/compid=-1/site=pes">Click here for detailed information</a> on Minnesota's public school system and see below for school choice contacts and a history of school choice legislation in Minnesota.