Gov. Mark Dayton addressed thousands of members of the American Federation of Teachers on Tuesday afternoon, saying many people did not know how poorly the nation funds public education.
“Our country’s future success depends on our well educated and productive citizenry,” Dayton said.
He spoke at the Minneapolis Convention Center conference the day after Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton gave a speech to union teachers touting her commitment to public schools. The American Federation of Teachers was the first national union to endorse Clinton last year.
Clinton, like Dayton, supports universal preschool.
Dayton, once a teacher for two years in New York City, said the nation needed to make the same commitment to public education as it has to military challenges. He noted that teachers constantly had to do more with fewer resources and in more difficult working environments.
Union President Randi Weingarten credited Minnesota with making investments in education, saying that in order to grow the economy “we need to invest in children.”