Minnesota’s Cradle to Grave: When Government Wants Children at Its Center
Governor Walz’s Executive Order 19-34, August 2019
‘Placing Children at the Center of Government’
Have you noticed the high number of legislators who are resigning early and party replacements quickly stepping up? Are you noticing the Minneapolis 2040 plan which will remove single-family homes and, later, cars; the Minneapolis Schools’ Redesign Plan along with the Cruz-Guzman lawsuit, a desegregation lawsuit, brought by Minneapolis parents and which has implications for the 7-county Metro region? Heads up! On the heels of these titanic changes, our governor’s executive order signals the restructure of state government.
There’s a little-known secret in Minnesota. Walz has a grand plan to revolutionize state agencies along with the Met Council through the relaunching of the Children’s Cabinet. This will have a “trickle down” effect for local cities, counties and school districts and it’s not just for the kids! The Cabinet will be the vehicle to oversee plans to implement equitable foundations into every agency.
Who would have thought that transformational restructuring of government would be developed within a committee on young children?
Governor Tim Walz’s plan tasks state agencies to ensure equity through a “collective effort” and “mission for all” that includes the Met Council, while leveraging a substantial network of public-private stakeholders. There is a seemingly steady stream of funding, if not from you and I, then business interests, non-profits, grants and other funding schemes. (Did we vote for this?)
What’s the mission?
To place all children at the center of government using a whole-family and societal approach by ensuring equitable policies, programs and services.
How will the mission be attained?
- Relaunch the Children’s Cabinet
- Set up a Children’s Cabinet Advisory Council
- Governor appointed council, thus unelected and unaccountable
- Governor and Lieutenant Governor will chair the Cabinet themselves
The Cabinet will “take action and authority” in prescribing and implementing a governmental system, which is the societal Cradle to Grave system.
The executive order describes four main policy areas along with three key philosophies to guide restructure and implementation. The four policies are:
- Healthy Beginnings (beginning with prenatal)
- Child care and education (beginning with early education – birth to 3 category)
- Mental health and well-being
- Housing stability for children, youth and families”
We witnessed much of this in last year’s bill – Great Start for All Minnesota Children. The order also points to key philosophies in regard to transforming government.
- Improve outcomes
- Promote equity
- Bridge the opportunity gap
- Prepare the next generation of Minnesotans to work
“An executive order, also known as a proclamation, is a directive handed down directly from a president or governor (the executive branch of government) without input from the legislative or judicial branches. Executive orders can only be given to federal or state agencies, not to citizens, although citizens are indirectly affected by them.”
Indeed, the Executive Order goes far beyond the Great Start legislation by restructuring all state agencies. On the other hand, the Great Start would pass a compilation of single subject areas, like prenatal-to-3 years home visiting and free daycare in schools from birth . Also, expect to see the Great Start reappear as our legislature begins shortly, February 11.
Minnesota, get ready! We have a huge sea change coming. Our next installment will discuss the consequences of equity and equitable outcomes which for some will bring concern while others will herald. In any case, the revolution is here!