Community Education in the State of Minnesota began in 1969 with the passing of the “Lighted Schoolhouse Legislation,” which made it possible for school buildings to stay open for community use in the evening. The concept of Community Education is predicated on two fundamental values - lifelong learning and community/citizen involvement.
Today, Community Education in Minnesota exists as a comprehensive statewide delivery system utilizing all 342 school districts to provide programs for community members of all ages, including School Readiness, Adult Basic Education, Out-of-School Time learning for youth, Early Childhood and Family Education, Adults with Disabilities and Adult Enrichment. Community Education programs are funded through a combination of levies, aids and user fees.
This means that every day participants can get help with homework, learn a new skill for job advancement, satisfy one’s curiosity about another’s culture and language, explore a new hobby, improve personal fitness, unleash creativity at an art class, learn new parenting strategies, plan for a strong financial future, or connect with neighbors at the local senior center. Classes and activities are accessible to all learners and held in public school buildings during the days, nights and weekends, making neighborhood schools a valued resource for everyone.
Thanks to partnerships with businesses, area chambers of commerce, community-based organizations, nonprofits and the work of involved citizens, Community Education in Minnesota serves over 3,000,000 participants yearly and generates $4.00 in additional revenue for every dollar of state levy and aid support.