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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
A snow day in February brought out a crowd of kids in Minneapolis to play.

Lawmakers debate snow-day relief as hourly school workers worry about pay

Make-up days, pay for hourly workers at issue.
Someone filling out Financial Aid Application form. istock photo

Minnesotans say college admissions scandal shows 'stacked' system

For many Minnesota students and families, the federal indictments alleging a widespread bribery scheme have prompted anger, frustration and disbelief.
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, shown earlier in March with Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan.

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz highlights education proposal in tour of Minnesota schools

The DFL governor visited schools in nearly a dozen cities to gather input and ideas, wrapping up in New Hope.
Bob Boldt

Bob Boldt, ad director and designer for Dayton's and Target, dies at 90

As a retiree, Boldt designed logos and programs for his church — all with the same care he'd given to the major campaigns he'd overseen.
Children off from school Wednesday enjoyed a mini-mountain of snow piled up from a parking lot at a park in Minneapolis.

Minnesota school districts digging out from chaos brought on by cancellations

Some administrators are calling state lawmakers to ask for an exemption from the state's instructional time requirements.
Lulete Mola spoke to the group of women assembled to choose microgrant recipients through the Young Women's Initiative.

These young women aren't waiting around to spark real change in Minnesota

Young women find guidance, connections and funding to become forces for change now.
Sen. Carla Nelson, R-Rochester, pictured in 2016. Nelson, chairwoman of the Education Finance and Policy Committee, said lawmakers are motivated to ta

To make state's schools safer, Minnesota lawmakers focus on student mental health

Bills seek to add counselors, beef up suicide prevention training and grant programs.
Mary Cathryn Ricker spent her career as a teacher and union leader before becoming the state’s education commissioner.

New Minn. education commissioner brings 'solution-driven ambition'

Mary Cathryn Ricker upbeat as she takes on challenging role.
Madeline Strobel gave Adery Cham a turn at the harp. The school’s population of 5- and 6-year-olds is diverse, with more than 20 languages spoken.

At southern Minn. school, everyone and everything focuses on kindergarten

The Woodson Kindergarten Center emphasizes power of focused attention at early ages.
Gov. Tim Walz spoke after taking the oath of office at the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul, Minn.

Walz considers shift away from referendums to fund Minnesota schools

DFL governor weighs making local referendums "either rare or extinct."
Myron Peterson, a janitor at Lakeville Christian Academy who suffered a traumatic brain injury after a car crash, and ended up with a new ability: dra

An accident, a janitor and a Lakeville school's unexpected gift

More than two years after suffering a traumatic brain injury in a car crash, Myron Peterson has morphed from an average doodler into a prolific, talented artist.
Tiffini Flynn Forslund, pictured in 2016, is the lead plaintiff in the court challenge against teacher tenure.

Minn. Court of Appeals dismisses lawsuit over teacher tenure

The court said a group of parents who sued the state in 2016 did not prove that students' rights are being violated.
Duluth Public Schools has agreed to pay $55,000 to a former school board member who sued the district over its handling of his public records requests

Duluth Public Schools pay ex-board member $55K over records dispute

A former school board member filed suit over his public records request.
Fifth-grader Khadra worked with Kyrstin Tenjack, a special education assistant, at Howe School in Minneapolis.

Minnesota schools facing 'crisis level' in special-ed funding

School administrators say the mandate's growing financial burden is threatening their ability to provide the same for all students.

Minnesota lawmakers target special education paperwork, teacher burnout

Bills would streamline reporting, give teachers more time in classroom.
Preschoolers listened as Alan Page, a retired Minnesota Supreme Court Justice and Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee, read to them the book he wrote e

Minnesota gets $4.7 million to assess early learning programs

Officials say federal planning grant will make early education programs easier for families to access.
U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos attends a meeting at the White House on Aug. 16, 2018.

New rules on sexual misconduct could affect Minnesota K-12 schools

Federal changes in colleges' investigations of sex misconduct may have wider impact.
Gov.-elect Tim Walz has pledged to continue Mark Dayton’s long effort to expand public prekindergarten programs for all 4-year-olds in Minnesota. Ab

On lawmakers' education agenda: school funding, safety and prekindergarten

School groups are hoping state education spending increases during new session.

Tickets available for Tim Walz inaugural party

The Jan. 12 public event at Minneapolis' Orpheum Theatre will be free.
“Nimbus” is lowered into its new home on the Nicollet Mall.

Crane lowers 'Nimbus' into its new Nicollet Mall home

The 10-ton sculpture is located across from Minneapolis Central Library.
Joan Gabel, provost at the University of South Carolina, is slated to visit Minnesota next week for public forums on all five campuses.

U president finalist unafraid of challenges, say those who know her

Joan Gabel has brought a collaborative style and low-key charisma to academia.
Josh McLay

Hastings administrator, coach demoted over allegations of misspent funds

Josh McLay allegedly spent thousands of dollars meant for the school's wrestling team on out-of-state trips to college football games.

Minnesota awards $5 million for specialized mental health at schools

The "innovation grants," approved by the Legislature in 2017, were divided between the state's four intermediate school districts.
Gov. Mark Dayton said the results of early learning programs will be most visible in a decade or two.

Gov. Mark Dayton's education legacy: a new focus on early learning

Investment in all-day kindergarten, free pre-K shifted focus in state.
Andrew Dickhausen piloted a small drone at Nicollet Middle School in Burnsville.

Minnesota schools embrace hands-on learning with 'makerspaces'

That's a place for creativity and hands-on learning, and it's increasingly becoming a part of school buildings, classrooms and courses.
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.
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