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Parents would have more oversight of school curricula and families could receive funds to send their children to private schools under an education plan Republican candidate for governor Scott Jensen unveiled Tuesday.

His 10-point proposal follows the release of state data showing low test scores in the last school year, and comes after Democratic Gov. Tim Walz launched an ad attacking Jensen after Jensen said he would spend less on public schools.

"We've got to raise achievement," Jensen said. "And stop thinking that dollars are always going to get us where we have to go."

His plan includes priorities GOP legislators have been pushing at the State Capitol, such as a "Parents' Bill of Rights." That would create a portal for parents to review curriculum and books used in classes and give feedback to their school board. Jensen also wants to devote state dollars to education savings accounts for students — often referred to as school vouchers — allowing money to be used on the school of the family's choice, including private schools.

Jensen and his running mate, Matt Birk, who opened a private school with his wife, released their education plan at the Minnesota Republican Party's State Fair booth. It is the latest in a series of 10-point plans the two have been rolling out over the past few months, including proposals on the rural economy and energy.

"Our kids are failing, and our school system is failing our kids and our families," Birk said, later adding, "We need to have a more customized approach — greater choice, different types of schools, probably more schools and smaller schools."

Their plan condemns critical race theory, an academic concept of systemic racism. Other points include promoting home schooling and expanding post-secondary enrollment into the trades and agribusiness. They suggested having government, nonprofits, law enforcement and churches partner to assist students with mental health issues, and would overhaul schools with low test scores.

"We will redesign very low performing schools, whether in the Minneapolis Public Schools or elsewhere, creating a new governance structure by converting schools to charters, self-governed schools, nonpublic schools or other models," the plan states.

Statewide test scores published last week showed math and reading proficiency continued to lag behind pre-pandemic results, and wide racial disparities persist. Around the release of the testing data, the Minnesota Department of Education found 371 public schools that need intense support from the state.

Since taking office nearly four years ago, Walz, a former high school social studies teacher, has pushed for more education spending.

"Scott Jensen's radical plan to convert public schools into private schools and put politicians in charge of students' learning takes his 'defund public education' ideology to a new extreme," Walz's campaign manager Nichole Johnson said in a statement Tuesday.

The ad Walz's campaign released this week touches on the difficult past couple of years for students, and notes that the governor dedicated funding to summer programs to help kids catch up and "fought to fully fund our schools." It also highlights an MPR News interview where Jensen said he would spend less on public schools, saying, "I think it's a black hole."

Jensen said he doesn't understand what "fully fund" means and noted that the state made a significant increase to K-12 spending in the last budget. He stressed that it's time to try new approaches.