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Erin Golden

Reporter | Politics and government reporter
Phone: 612-673-4790
Location: Minneapolis
Other languages: None

Erin Golden is the statewide education reporter for the Star Tribune. She previously spent two years covering Minnesota politics and government and another two years covering Minneapolis City Hall. 


Before joining the Star Tribune, Golden covered business, city government, public safety and other topics at newspapers in Nebraska and Oregon.
Recent content from Erin Golden
Gov. Mark Dayton

Dayton remains in hospital a month after back surgery

The governor said during an interview this week that he was still at Mayo because of "post-surgical complications" that damaged his lungs.
Sharon Tolbert-Glover

Sharon Tolbert-Glover, educator and strong advocate for young people of color, dies at 78

Sharon Tolbert-Glover was still a teenager when she decided to spend her life in service to her faith and her community.After a decade in a…
Ilhan Omar delivered her victory speech Tuesday to supporters in a packed ballroom after she became the first Somali-American elected to Congress.

Ilhan Omar makes history, is first Somali-American elected to U.S. House

Omar and Michigan's Rashida Tlaib will become the first two Muslim women to serve in Congress.
Rep. Betty McCollum, DFL, Minnesota's Fourth Congressional District

DFLer McCollum wins 10th term to U.S. House from Minnesota's Fourth District

She defeated two repeat challengers to keep the seat she's held in Congress for nearly two decades.

Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan schools select insider as new leader

Kreger was Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan's interim superintendent.
University of St. Thomas President Julie Sullivan, shown at her inauguration ceremony in 2013, said the meeting sent “a clear message.”

St. Thomas cancels classes for campus-wide talk about racism

While university officials said they were "sending a clear message" about racism, the freshman student who reported the slur called it "just talk."
Education Minnesota rallied in Minneapolis before early voting Oct. 19. Edina Brown, a construction laborer, left, greeted David Bipes, who is retired

Education Minnesota's election strategy: Get more teachers to vote

In high-stakes election, Education Minnesota is focusing on its own members.
Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton, shown at this summer's DFL State Convention, is nearing an end to his two terms in office.

As time in office nears an end, Dayton has approval of majority in poll

Following through on his pledge to keep the state on solid financial footing impressed some taking part in the Star Tribune/MPR News Minnesota Poll.
Nari Thao, right, and Gina Yang talked coding. Members of the Asian Penguins computer club at St. Paul’s Community School of Excellence, they’re h

St. Paul school's computer club gets to work shrinking digital divide

In the seven years since Stu Keroff founded the Asian Penguins, the school group has refurbished and donated more than 200 computers.

Minnesota agency awards $33 million in school mental health grants

State grants will go to 57 service providers helping more than half of districts.
A computer-based practice ACT English test is displayed on a computer monitor in 2015.

Minnesota's ACT scores remain steady, among best in the U.S.

Minnesota's average declined slightly but not enough to alter its best-of-the-nation standing.

Rosemount educator resigns after 'kill Kavanaugh' tweet

The staff member's resignation followed a school investigation.
A past MEA teachers conference in St. Paul. Next week’s annual conference for Minnesota teachers will be shorter than in previous years and open onl

Annual Minnesota conference for teachers will be shorter, only open to union members

Students will still get two days off in many districts.
Principal Mary Mackbee was greeted by Peggy Cobbins before Mackbee was honored at halftime of a recent St. Paul Central football game.

Retiring Principal Mary Mackbee leads St. Paul's Central High through one more year

Principal of the St. Paul high school will step aside after 25 years.

Eight Minnesota schools receive federal 'Blue Ribbon' recognition

They are among 349 U.S. public, private and charter schools recognized because of their academic performance or their work in closing achievement gaps.

State picks 123 schools for safety funding

Schools will use the money to upgrade entrances, improve other safety features.
Denise Specht, president of Education Minnesota, said the teachers union does not plan to disclose its membership numbers after the “drop” window

Court ruling prompts battle over membership in Minnesota teachers union

The leaders of Education Minnesota — one of the state's most powerful political forces — have been pushing hard to keep its numbers up while outside forces have seized on the moment.
‘Concern is growing daily’
To tighten its budget, Forest Lake has made many cuts, resulting in fewer teachers, bigger class sizes and higher activ

Budget gaps are challenging school districts in Minnesota

Around the state, dozens of districts are beginning a new school year amid some of the toughest financial circumstances they've faced in recent years.
Skyview Elementary Principal Travis Barringer asked Natalie Vang what she was having for lunch in teacher Travis Fick's kindergarten class.

Around the Twin Cities, high-poverty schools are beating the odds

The Star Tribune identified 44 high-poverty public schools in the Twin Cities that were "beating the odds" in an annual analysis of statewide test scores.
As the U.S. Food and Drug Administration launches a crackdown on e-cigarettes, schools across Minnesota are waging their own battles against the trend

Minnesota schools battle 'epidemic' of teen vaping

FDA cracks down on e-cigarette makers as use among minors surges.

Minnesota school safety upgrade applications top $250 million

1,265 applied for a share of $25M in state safety funding on the first day.
Gov. Mark Dayton poses for photos with students at Carver Elementary in Maplewood.

First day for most Minnesota school districts was a full one

Spruced-up school buildings and a visit from Gov. Mark Dayton among opening day highlights.
First-year teacher Sara Vanhove got students’ attention at the beginning of the day at L.H. Tanglen Elementary School in Minnetonka on Tuesday.

In Minnetonka first-grade class, first-day jitters all around

A new school year begins for a rookie teacher and her first-grade students.
FILE -- Richard Liu, the JD.com founder who was arrested in the United States on suspicion of criminal sexual conduct, in Shanghai, Jan. 4, 2015. Liu,

Attorneys say Chinese billionaire unlikely to face charges in Mpls.

JD.com founder Liu Qiangdong was arrested in Minneapolis over allegations of criminal sexual misconduct. He was back in China on Monday.
Police entered Valley View Middle School in Bloomington on Aug. 20, 2018, during a safety exercise with staff and student volunteers.

School safety concerns persist in Minnesota as new school year begins

Minnesota school leaders wrestle with how best to keep students safe.
A fifth-grader worked on multiplication workbooks at Global Academy, a charter school in Columbia Heights.

Minnesota reading scores stay flat; math proficiency dips

Education officials say results are disappointing, but not reflective of overall progress.
Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton and Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius. More than 480 struggling Minnesota schools are set to get additional help fro

Minnesota has new benchmarks for schools, IDs 485 for help

New accountability system is designed to give better picture of overall performances.
Weeks before schools open their doors for the start of a new academic year, Minnesota education officials are finalizing the overhaul of the state’s

Minnesota works to complete teacher licensing overhaul

The new rules are aimed at helping schools avoid roadblocks that have contributed to the state's teacher shortage.
Election judge Marcus Singleton, left, and Salma Abdirahman, right, helped a voter at the Brian Coyle Community Center on primary election day, Tuesda

Minnesotans post most votes for primary since 1982

Polls are open around the state until 8 p.m. as voters narrow the field of candidates for governor, U.S. Senate, Congress, and other seats.

District buys land for new Rosemount elementary school

The Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan school board voted to spend $3.2 million on the 34-acre property at the southwest corner of the intersection of Bonaire Path and Akron Avenue, east of Hwy. 3 and County Road 42.
A sinkhole caused by a water main break developed in front of Kelly's Pub in downtown St. Paul. St. Paul Regional Water Services was hard at work prep

Broken water main creates sinkhole on Kellogg Blvd. in St. Paul

Businesses lost water and part of Kellogg Blvd. was shut down as crews worked to fix road.
Associate Justice Natalie E. Hudson wrote the majority opinion in the school segregation case.

Minn. Supreme Court says school segregation case can proceed

The court rejected claims that the Legislature, not the court system, was the right place to decide what constitutes an adequate education.
Brittany Boegel

Brittany Boegel, teacher and travel enthusiast who died in Alaska at age 32, is remembered

She poured her energy into her classroom for 10 years, opting to teach where the students' needs were often complex and the resources limited.

Timeline set for $25 million in school safety grants

State will begin accepting applications Aug. 29 for the new funding.
Rep. Frank Hornstein, shown in 2012, traveled to the U.S.-Mexico border to witness the fallout from family separations.

Minnesotan feels pain of migrant crisis at home

After going to Texas, Rep. Frank Hornstein wants his fellow legislators to take a closer look at Minnesota's immigration detention policies.
Demonstrators marched on Washington Avenue S. in Minneapolis to the U.S. Federal Courthouse on Wednesday as part of a protest over the Supreme Court's

Supreme Court ruling on public union dues hits Minnesota labor groups

The high court's ruling is likely to mean an immediate blow to the budgets of organized labor groups.
A few hundred protesters marched Tuesday night in downtown Minneapolis to show their displeasure at the Supreme Court's decision to uphold President D

Like travel ban ruling, reaction in Minnesota is divided

Opponents of President Trump's travel ban say the Supreme Court ruling could boost discrimination based on religion. Those who champion Trump's proposals as important strategies to combat terrorism applauded the decision.
State Attorney General Lori Swanson in a February file photo. Swanson announced Thursday she would join other state attorneys general in suing the Tru

Swanson will join other states suing over border separations

Attorney General Lori Swanson said Thursday that Minnesota will join with other states preparing to sue the Trump administration over the "inhumane treatment of children"…
Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson and Gov. Mark Dayton

Dayton, Swanson challenge 'immoral' border separations of families

Gov. Mark Dayton said Tuesday that he would not authorize Minnesota National Guard troops to help with immigration enforcement at the border, and Swanson joined with other attorneys general to push against the Trump administration's zero-tolerance policy.
Rep. Ilhan Omar hugged her husband Ahmed Hirsi after she won the DFL endorsement. Their daughter Isra Hirsi, 15, is on the right.

State Rep. Omar wins DFL endorsement for Ellison's seat

Voting is largely symbolic but builds momentum for primary.
The DFL Party will try to endorse a primary candidate for U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison’s seat as he runs for state attorney general.

DFL to meet Sunday to sort out endorsement for Rep. Ellison's seat in Congress; Anderson Kelliher to sit it out

The endorsement is functionally a symbolic gesture, but official party backing still confers some status.
Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty announced Lt. Gov. Michelle Fischbach as his running mate last month.

Pawlenty, Walz beat party-endorsed rivals in fundraising

Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty has more in his campaign bank account -- $1.3 million -- than any of his Republican and DFL competitors.
FILE - In this Feb. 16, 2018, photo, Andy Cilek poses with a Tea Party shirt at his home in Eden Prairie, Minn. Cilek was one of two voters who defied

Supreme Court strikes down Minnesota law on voter clothing

The court sided with voters who were challenged at polls in Hennepin and Ramsey counties for wearing T-shirts and buttons with political messages.
Attorney General Lori Swanson shakes hands with running mate Rick Nolan at the Marquette Hotel in Minneapolis on June 4.

Lori Swanson debuts first TV ad of governor's race

She was the last to join the race but the first to buy statewide airtime.
FILE - In this Sunday, June 10, 2018, file photo, U.S. President Donald Trump arrives at Paya Lebar Air Base for a summit with North Korean leader Kim

President Trump headed to Minn. for first visit since election

The president's June 20 rally in Duluth will come just under two months before Minnesota holds its primary election.
DFL candidates, activists and donors are still sorting out how the shifting political landscape will affect candidates for governor, including the end

For the DFL, a 'crazy ride' to the primary awaits

Primary infighting for governor, attorney general and Congress seats likely to expose weaknesses, drain financial resources.
Lori Swanson announced her plans at a news conference Monday with running mate U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan at her side.

Swanson joins governor's race with Nolan as running mate

A Swanson-Nolan gubernatorial ticket adds more drama to a DFL primary that already promises to be hotly contested. With the endorsing conventions behind them, both parties are focused on the next chapter of the campaign.
Gov. Mark Dayton emphasized the conflicting interests of the DFL party and the GOP party during Wednesday's press conference.

Dayton signs $1.5B bonding bill, expresses 'deep concerns'

The DFL governor said the Republican-crafted bill was inadequate and set a "dangerous precedent" by tapping other funds.
Relatives of elder abuse victims gathered outside the Minnesota House chamber in May to protest inaction by the state Legislature over proposals that

What got done and what didn't at Minnesota Legislature

The DFL governor and Republican leaders at the Capitol ended up at odds over much of their work.
A passerby takes cell phone photos of the aftermath of a three-alarm fire at Lake Street and Chicago Avenue.

Three-alarm fire engulfs Lake Street building in Minneapolis

Small businesses, studios filled building that once housed Roberts Shoes.
State Sen. Michelle Fischbach is sworn in as lieutenant governor of Minnesota on Friday, May 25, 2018.

Fischbach resigns Senate seat, takes lieutenant governor oath

State Sen. Michelle Fischbach had been holding off from being officially sworn into the position amid a legal challenge from DFLers who maintained the state Constitution prohibited her from serving in both roles.
Republican legislative leaders House Speaker Kurt Daudt and Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka spoke outside the State Capitol on Monday.

2018 Legislature: What passed, what didn't and what's next

Lawmakers have adjourned their session, but many major initiatives of the year face a veto threat from Gov. Mark Dayton
Vile, appalling disgusting, debacle, badly mismanaged, beholden to special interests, just some of the ways Gov. Mark Dayton described actions by by t

Dayton veto threat hangs over legislative session's final bills

Minnesota lawmakers adjourned late Sunday after finalizing a handful of tax and spending measures, but with little chance they'd have much to show for three months of work as Gov. Mark Dayton vowed to veto most of their major efforts.
With the clock ticking, it's unclear whether Republican leaders at the Minnesota Legislature and Gov. Mark Dayton will reach accord on a handful of pr

Minnesota lawmakers, Gov. Dayton at odds as finish line nears

In session's second-to-last day, a late meeting between Dayton, lawmakers produced no agreement.

Myriad laws pass muster as Legislature scurries to wrap up

Many make specific tweaks to existing state law or apply only to certain cities or counties — the kind of legislative action that rarely gets attention.
Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton reflected on the final days of the 2018 legislative session in the library of the governor's residence.

Dayton promises veto of key tax bill, lashes out at Legislature

Gov. Mark Dayton is promising to veto a key tax bill that the Republican-controlled Senate passed narrowly Wednesday, ratcheting up tensions between the governor and the Legislature's GOP majorities.
The Minnesota State Capitol.

Dayton vetoes abortion bill that requires asking about ultrasound

Doctors would have had to offer patients a look.
Minnesota Management and Budget Commissioner Myron Frans is one of just two members of Gov. Mark Dayton’s inner circle who have been with him from t

As right-hand man to Dayton, Frans is Capitol's chief defuser

Budget czar Myron Frans is poised to crunch numbers and jump in with the right idea during the legislative session's final days.

Abortion ultrasound bill heads to Gov. Dayton's desk

The bill approved by the Legislature requires doctors to ask women if they'd like to see an ultrasound before having an abortion.

Minnesota Senate Republicans propose $825 million for public works

The proposal is similar to one from the House but much smaller than one offered by the governor.

Minnesota Senate votes to ease child care regulations

Lawmakers vote to relax regulations in effort to ease child care shortage.
Rep. Paul Marquart, ranking DFLer on the House Tax Committee, commended GOP Rep. Greg Davids for his work as committee chairman on Monday after the Ho

Minnesota lawmakers have two weeks left, much to do at the Capitol

The Legislature is behind its usual pace in getting bills turned into law.
Families of those killed by distracted drivers listened during a February rally at the State Capitol to drum up support for a law that would ban the u

Hand-held cellphone bill backers make push in session's final weeks

Senate sponsor and advocates blame partisanship, but Senate leader says measure could still advance this year.
GOP Governor candidate Mary Giuliani Stephens announced Rep. Jeff Backer, R-Browns Valley as her running mate in a State Capitol press conference.

Woodbury mayor running for governor taps rural state representative as GOP running mate

Mary Giuliani Stephens selected Rep. Jeff Backer, who represents the Morris area, as her lieutenant governor running mate.
Gov. Mark Dayton, shown last week, is urging the Legislature to approve additional funding for schools.

Dayton proposes nearly $138M in emergency aid to schools

With many schools preparing to lay off teachers and staff members —or close their doors altogether — Gov. Mark Dayton said the state should step in to help.
Legislative Auditor Jim Nobles in his St. Paul office.

Legislative audit finds early education programs 'complex and fragmented'

Need for coordinated push in early education cited.
The cover of Thinking Minnesota showcases the article alleging political “indoctrination” in the Edina School District. It was sent to all househo

'Academic balance' measure advances in Minnesota Senate

The plan came in response to a recent controversy in the Edina School District.

House approves school safety funding for Minnesota schools

Money could be used for building improvements or additional staffing.

Minnesota Supreme Court considers future of cameras in courts

The state's high court held a public hearing Wednesday on the future of a pilot project allowing cameras in criminal sentencing hearings.
State Rep. Erin Maye Quade, of Apple Valley, second from right, holds a 24-hour sit-in on the Minnesota House floor for stronger gun laws, Tuesday, Ap

DFL Rep. Erin Maye Quade ends House floor sit-in, vows to continue pursuing gun control

The lawmaker from Apple Valley said she wanted to draw attention to the Legislature's inaction on gun-control measures.
Erin Maye Quade of Apple Valley holds a 24-hour sit-in on the House floor for stronger gun laws. Other DFL reps are joining her. She is here with Raym

DFLer Maye Quade stages House floor sit-in, wants stronger gun laws

Rep. Erin Maye Quade was joined by a handful of others in the House.

Minnesota lawmakers consider broadening harassment policy

One proposal would relax definition of what's considered harassment.
At a Nov. 15 hearing, Sen. John Jasinski, R-Faribault, described how some constituents received two sets of license tabs due to problems with the MNLA

Lawmakers say state should pay for licensing problems

State's flawed computer system has some registrars operating in the red.
In a photo she shared on Twitter, GOP Sen. Michelle Fischbach met Friday with DFL Gov. Mark Dayton.

Dayton, Fischbach pledge to work together in governor's office

In first meeting to discuss Fischbach's new role, they avoid legal issues.
The DFL kicked off its get-out-the-vote bus tour at the State Capitol Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014, in St. Paul, MN. Here, Sen. Al Franken, second from le

Tina Smith, a political insider, steps onto the national stage

Long known as a "velvet hammer" behind the scenes, she must craft her own public persona as Minnesota's next senator.
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