Minnesota, USA: Minnesota: Finance and Policy in a High Performing U.S. State

Nicola A. Alexander, Karen Seashore Louis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The U.S. national policy pendulum tends to swing between devoting more resources to one set of value preferences over the other. Three key tensions have repeatedly emerged on the policy landscape of the United States: (1) choosing between equity and efficiency; (2) varying reliance on centralized versus decentralized structures; and (3) switching between “civic” and market-driven policy levers. We choose to highlight Minnesota because it illustrates many of the policy tensions and contradictions apparent on the national landscape. These trends exist in the context of an increasingly diverse student body, stable or shrinking school budgets, and expanding demands on the purpose of schools. In many ways, Minnesota’s educational governance system has much in common with other U.S. states: (1) its state agencies are the most powerful policy actors; (2) it faces pressures between equalizing funds versus maintaining local control; and (3) it has increased state legislative response to national discourses. Minnesota also represents our contention that there are 50 distinct structures and patterns of educational governance in the United States. While systemic reform has been the mantra for many US states, Minnesota legislators have tended to tinker around the edges and emphasize voluntary rather than mandated change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEducational Governance Research
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media B.V.
Number of pages19
StatePublished - 2020

Publication series

NameEducational Governance Research
ISSN (Print)2365-9548
ISSN (Electronic)2365-9556

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, Springer Nature Switzerland AG.


  • Educational finance
  • Equity
  • Governance
  • Stakeholders
  • Values


Dive into the research topics of 'Minnesota, USA: Minnesota: Finance and Policy in a High Performing U.S. State'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this