Research-Driven Policy Decisions Are Key to Greater Minnesota�s Future

Brad Finstad

Summer vacation is officially over and school kids throughout Greater Minnesota are doing homework again. We’re doing our homework at the Center for Rural Policy and Development, too.

Providing Minnesota lawmakers with sound, research-driven education policy recommendations is a key mission of the Center. That’s exactly what we did last spring, when a comprehensive research report we published offered policymakers a series of recommendations on how to help and improve rural Minnesota schools.

One key finding of our research was especially insightful: School district consolidation, a strategy commonly employed in rural districts with declining enrollment, produces few benefits and may have negative effects.

On education and a whole host of other issues, the Center will continue to provide high quality, objective, non-partisan research and recommendations. A strong Minnesota requires a vibrant Greater Minnesota, and we are committed to supporting quality decision-making that will positively impact Greater Minnesota’s ability to thrive.

(Brad Finstad is executive director of the Center for Rural Policy and Development. He can be reached at