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CARES Act funding information

The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) has in-depth information, resources and FAQs on the additional funding being provided to schools as a result of COVID. Learn more.

MPS priorities

As MPS considers how to best utilize the one-time COVID funding provided by state and federal governments, it is relying on the priorities of the Comprehensive District Design, values established by the Minneapolis Board of Education, guiding questions and engagement with stakeholders.

Comprehensive District Design (CDD) priorities

MPS is developing budgets based on the priorities of the CDD. These priorities will also drive how MPS spends its one-time COVID funding.

Academics
  • Well-rounded, PreK-12 education
  • Every student graduates with academic, social/emotional and technical skills for college/career
  • Equitable access to rigorous, relevant programming
Equity
  • Reduction in racially isolated schools
  • High quality community schools
  • Improved access to magnet programs closer to home
  • Student placement policies that serve all families
Sustainability
  • Alignment and prioritization of budgets to accomplish district design goals and values
  • Successfully implement predictable staffing
  • Correction of uneven enrollment patterns
  • Professional development and other supports to improve staff recruitment and retention
  • Culturally relevant programming and customer services
  • Academic pathways supported by financially sustainable transportation options
Climate Framework
  • Safe and welcoming environments for all students/families
  • School climate improvements
  • Culturally relevant customer services and engagement
  • Excellence in leadership

Board budget values

The Minneapolis Board of Education has established values for MPS budgets. All MPS programs, initiatives and expenditures should align to these values:

  • Measures needed to ensure the continued health and safety of students and staff
  • Multi-tiered systems of support (MTSS), equity, literacy, and social emotional learning
  • Direct student supports, including mental health services needed to address trauma experienced by our students
  • Implementation of the structural and programmatic elements adopted in the Comprehensive District Design
  • Advancement of the School Climate Framework
  • Academic plan and equitable education design implementation
  • Curriculum transformation including the new Ethnic Studies course requirement and math curriculum adoption
  • Professional development to establish a district culture of anti-racist mindsets and actions
  • Strategies to recruit and retain staff of color, including the Teacher Equity Plan
  • Early childhood programs and services
  • Predictable school-level staffing with discretionary allocations aligned to Board priorities and site council recommendations

Council of Great City Schools (CGCS): 6 questions

CGCS has provided six questions for identifying high-priority, high-leverage expenditures to improve teaching and learning. These questions will help guide MPS leaders and teams charged with developing an instructional spending plan for one-time COVID funds:

1. How does this investment address current and long-term student needs?
  • What to avoid:
    • Investments with no clear relevance to the academic, social/emotional, or mental health needs of students returning to school during or after the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • Investments unlikely to improve the quality of Tier 1 instruction and social-emotional learning moving forward.
    • An investment strategy that relies on remedial instruction and interventions.
    • Investments that do not meet the needs of students disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.
    • Investments that do not provide the supports necessary to guarantee access to grade-level standards and instruction for students with diverse learning needs, such as English learners and students with disabilities.
2. How does this investment advance the strategic plan and instructional priorities, vision, and goals of the district?
  • What to avoid:
    • Investments in programs, materials, or strategies that are not aligned to the district’s strategic plan and send mixed signals to schools regarding the district’s overall instructional vision.
    • Investments that don’t reflect the district’s commitment to equity, access, support for diverse learners, and the engagement of parents and families.
    • Investments in disconnected, contradictory, or redundant programs that place an undue burden on staff time, attention, and resources.
3. What do we know already about the efficacy of this investment or the likelihood that a new, innovative initiative will be successful?
  • What to avoid:
    • Investments in programs, materials, or strategies without any clear evidence of efficacy or track record of success in improving student outcomes in urban schools.
    • Making investment decisions based solely on evidence from organizations or companies that have a stake in selling the district a product or service.
    • Investments in programs, materials, or strategies that are not possible to effectively support and monitor when implemented at scale across a large school system.
    • Making investment decisions without full transparency and open communication with stakeholders about the rationale and purpose of expenditures.
4. What will it take to effectively and equitably implement this program or strategy?
  • What to avoid:
    • Investments in programs, materials, or strategies that the district lacks the capacity to implement or will struggle to support effectively.
    • Making investment decisions without involving a broad cross-section of district staff to provide insight on what is needed for planning and implementation.
    • Investing in and attempting to implement an initiative or program without adequate professional development and thoughtful rollout.
    • Making narrow investment decisions that fail to optimize economies of scale or miss opportunities to enhance supports for various student groups or to improve instruction across content areas.
5. How will this investment be sustained or continue to build district capacity after the three years of relief funding ends?
  • What to avoid:
    • Investments that the district will not be able to sustain or afford after relief funds expire.
    • A lack of transparency with staff and stakeholders concerning the sustainability of investments in staffing, materials, or programs.
    • Investments in materials or services that do not improve programming in the long run or build the instructional capacity of district staff.
6. How will success be measured? What are the metrics that will be employed?
  • What to avoid:
    • Investments without clear objectives and meaningful and measurable outcomes.
    • Metrics that are not reliable and valid for assessing the extent to which specific intended outcomes are achieved (e.g., using a single measure, relying on standardized test scores, etc.) or that cannot be collected consistently throughout and after the funding period.
    • Setting unrealistic expectations for short-term evidence of success and abandoning investments in new programs or strategies because they do not yield immediate and dramatic gains.
    • Making investment decisions without involving the research department from the beginning to monitor the quality of implementation and assess both short-term progress toward stated goals and long-term success in improving student outcomes.