Sen. Nelson recognized for her leadership, advocacy in education

In recognition of her commitment to improving education, her support of effective education policy, and her leadership in public service, Sen. Carla Nelson (R-Rochester) was recently appointed an Education Commission of the States commissioner. Sen. Nelson will begin a two-year term as a commissioner, joining other leaders from all 50 states.

“It is a tremendous honor to be appointed to the Education Commission of the States, which is a leader in education policy, innovation, and leadership,” said Sen. Nelson. “Working together, we can be better informed and explore different options for building on the sound education policy Minnesota is known for, but can be improved upon. As we process information, share experiences, and reach across the partisan aisle, we can create better policy and a better education for our kids.”

Education Commission of the States comes directly out of the Compact for Education, which was approved by Congress in 1965. The organization aims to advance education policy in the United States with the input and guidance of policymakers from each state. As a commissioner with Education Commission of the States (ECS), Sen. Nelson will serve in a body that provides strategic guidance to ECS staff regarding state education policy issues, along with working to craft Minnesota’s own education agenda.

A former public school teacher and current chairwoman of the Minnesota Senate E-12 Finance Committee, Sen. Nelson joins an esteemed group of policymakers in Minnesota’s delegation, including Governor Mark Dayton, Commissioner of Education Brenda Cassellius, Commissioner of Higher Education Lawrence Pogemiller, Senator Charles Wiger, and Representative Sondra Erickson.

“Education is my passion and my life’s work,” Sen. Nelson continued. “In no small sense, the opportunity for each student to get a good education is the key to our country’s continued success. I am looking forward to working in this capacity to make sure all students – in Minnesota and beyond – have the chance to learn.”

Sen. Carla Nelson has long been in a leader in education. A child of a high school principal and special education teacher, Sen. Nelson also became an educator, teaching elementary and middle school courses, as well as special education and reading. She has a master’s degree in teacher leadership from the University of Minnesota.

Sen. Nelson is in her third term representing Senate District 26, which includes students in Byron, Chatfield, Dover-Eyota, Hayfield, Plainview-Elgin-Millville, Rochester, Stewartville and St. Charles school districts in Olmsted County. Sen. Nelson serves as chairwoman of the Senate E12 Finance Committee and co-chaired the conference committee on the education budget.