Author

Rilyn Eischens

Rilyn Eischens

Rilyn Eischens is a data reporter with the Reformer. Rilyn was born and raised in Minnesota and has worked in newsrooms in the Twin Cities, Iowa, Texas and most recently Virginia, where she covered education for The Staunton News Leader. She's an alumna of the Dow Jones News Fund data journalism program and the Minnesota Daily. When Rilyn isn't in the newsroom, she likes to read, add to her plant collection and try new recipes.

St. Paul teachers to vote on strike next week

By: - February 11, 2020

St. Paul teachers will vote Feb. 20 on whether to strike against St. Paul Public Schools, according to the union representing St. Paul educators, assistants and community service workers. The St. Paul Federation of Educators executive board agreed Monday night to authorize a strike vote next week, the union wrote in a statement. “We did […]

Minnesota students speak nearly 300 different languages at home

By: - February 10, 2020

More than 143,000 Minnesota students speak a language other than English at home, according to 2018-19 data from the Minnesota Department of Education. Families here communicate in nearly 300 different languages, from American Sign Language to Indigenous languages like Ojibwa and Dakota to those originating in other continents, such as Arabic, Yoruba and Portuguese. At […]

Map: Minnesota counties with limited access to opioid addiction treatment

By: - February 7, 2020

Opioid addiction treatment remains out of reach for many Minnesotans. In 43 of Minnesota’s 87 counties, there are no doctors who can prescribe a drug proven to be safe and effective in treating opioid addiction, according to 2018 data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. To prescribe buprenorphine, doctors are required under […]

Some big shots want to amend the Minnesota constitution to prioritize schools. Can it work?

By: - February 7, 2020

A pair of prominent Minnesota leaders want to harness the power of words to address some of the nation’s worst racial disparities in education. Minneapolis Federal Reserve President Neel Kashkari and retired state Supreme Court Justice Alan Page — the latter a Democrat, the former a Republican — have launched a campaign to amend the state’s […]

Farmer harvesting soybeans near Worthington, Minnesota

Danger zone: Work is safer than it used to be, but some jobs are still hazardous

By: - February 6, 2020

Work-related illness and injuries in Minnesota reached all-time lows in 2018, but experts are concerned about persistently high injury rates in risky industries like construction and agriculture. Workplace injury rates have dropped nationwide in the past several decades because of regulatory and cultural changes. Farmers and construction workers are still at higher risk of being […]

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) speaks during the Democratic presidential primary debate on Dec. 19, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.

Klobuchar’s Iowa showing tops past Minnesotan presidential hopefuls

By: - February 5, 2020

Minnesota’s U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar may have finished fifth in Iowa’s caucuses, but she still has bragging rights among Minnesotan presidential candidates. The senator is the fifth Minnesotan presidential candidate to compete in the Iowa caucuses since 1972. With the exception of Walter Mondale, all have placed last or second-to-last in the caucuses, according to […]

Three things to know ahead of Trump’s State of the Union

By: - February 4, 2020

President Donald Trump will deliver his third State of the Union address tonight. Here are a few things to know about the economy, education and government action in the United States last year in advance of the speech. Growth in gross domestic product was roughly in line with previous years’ change. 2. More than three […]

These Iowans got their first caucus experience in Minnesota

By: - February 4, 2020

Thirty-two Iowans gathered in St. Paul Monday night. Between excited moments of recognition — “Oh, you’re from Cedar Rapids? Me too!” — they had important political business to finish. For the first time ever, Iowans unable to caucus for Democratic presidential candidates in their home state had the option to attend a number of satellite […]

Minnesota school choice advocates look to landmark SCOTUS case

By: - January 31, 2020

A United States Supreme Court case could boost Minnesota’s school choice movement after years of failed legislative attempts to create state grants, tax credits and tuition programs for families whose children attend private schools. Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue is a landmark case with the potential to upend school funding across the United States […]

Minnesota gets top rating in LGBTQ equality report

By: - January 30, 2020

Minnesota received the highest ranking in an annual assessment of state policies affecting LGBTQ people, released today by the Human Rights Campaign, a gay rights organization. The state is one of 17 categorized as “working toward innovative equality” by the State Equality Index, which takes into account each state’s nondiscrimination, criminal justice, health and safety […]

Nearly 40% of Minneapolis schools segregated by race

By: - January 29, 2020

This year, nearly 40% of Minneapolis Public Schools fall into the category of more than about 86% white or students of color. That’s 25 of the district’s 63 schools that are at least roughly 86% white or students of color, according to Minneapolis Public Schools enrollment data. Minneapolis Public Schools released several plans this month […]

About 500 children are using cannabis as medicine in Minnesota. Here’s a breakdown.

By: - January 28, 2020

Some Minnesotans whose sick children depend on CBD and other cannabinoids for medical use are pushing for schools to allow those products on their campuses, according to the Star Tribune. State law bans medical cannabis from school property but says nothing about CBD, the Star Tribune reported. Many schools have banned the products, meaning some […]