Rilyn Eischens

Rilyn Eischens

Rilyn Eischens is a former data reporter for the Minnesota 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.

Democrats propose gas tax holiday

By: - February 25, 2022

Democratic state lawmakers are proposing a 98-day gas tax holiday this summer. The legislators said Friday that suspending the gas tax from Memorial Day to Labor Day would ease Minnesotans’ financial stress as the costs of fuel, groceries and other necessities continue to climb. The proposal was met with criticism by Republicans, who argue Minnesotans […]

Minnesota summers could get 7 degrees hotter by 2100

By: - February 24, 2022

Minnesota summers could get 7 degrees hotter in the next 80 years, according to a new study from the University of Minnesota.  Earlier studies have established that Minnesota’s winters are warming faster than any other state’s, and 13 times faster than our summers. This study suggests that summer warming will accelerate as Minnesota sees hotter […]

Activists call for action on layoff protections for Minneapolis teachers of color

By: - February 24, 2022

Minneapolis Public Schools, already facing a shortage of teachers of color, could lose still more in the face of a budget shortfall and last-in-first-out layoff policies that disproportionately affect teachers of color because they tend to be younger and have less seniority. Some activists are urging the Minneapolis teachers union and school district to finalize […]

GOP voucher-style program would shift $178 million away from public schools

By: - February 22, 2022

A Senate GOP proposal to create a school voucher-style program in Minnesota would shift about $178 million away from public schools over the next two years, according to analysis by the nonpartisan Legislative Budget Office. The “education savings accounts” — which would give families state money to pay for private school tuition, textbooks and school […]

GOP lawmakers push to join national nurse licensure compact

By: - February 21, 2022

Republican lawmakers and nurses from Mayo Clinic and the University of Minnesota held a news conference Monday in support of a bill to make it easier for out-of-state nurses to work in Minnesota. Supporters say becoming the 40th state to join the national Nurse Licensure Compact — which allows nurses to work across state lines […]

“I’m struggling”: Soaring heating bills stress Minnesotans

By: - February 21, 2022

Bebe Brandt turned off the heat, piled on blankets and limited stove use to one day a week this winter in hopes of containing her ballooning heating bill. Still, it wasn’t enough. Brandt, a single mom of two in Minneapolis, said her past-due balance swelled to $400. Brandt’s shifts at a mailing company keep getting […]

st. paul teaachers strike

Minneapolis, St. Paul teachers vote to authorize strike

By: - February 18, 2022

Teachers in both Minneapolis and St. Paul voted to authorize strikes Thursday, the unions announced. In Minneapolis, members of the teacher bargaining unit approved the vote 2,899-92, with 96% of teachers participating. Education support professionals — such as special education assistants — voted 924-18 in favor, with 93% turnout. The vote took place from Monday to […]

st. paul teaachers strike

St. Paul teachers voting Thursday on potential strike

By: - February 17, 2022

St. Paul teachers will vote Thursday on whether to strike over wages and staffing levels. Voting will close at 8:30 p.m. If they approve the strike, teachers would have to wait 10 days before walking off the job; however, they could still opt to forgo a strike altogether even if the vote passes. Thursday is […]

Advocates say Minnesota’s new elections maps don’t capture growing diversity

By: - February 16, 2022

Our Maps, a coalition of advocacy groups, said during a Wednesday news conference that the congressional and legislative redistricting plans released Tuesday by a Minnesota court panel don’t capture the state’s growing diversity and won’t ensure fair representation for people of color. “It’s time that we move to an independent, community-led process that puts the […]

Minneapolis, St. Paul teachers to vote on potential strikes this week

By: - February 14, 2022

Teachers in Minneapolis and St. Paul will vote this week on whether to strike over wages, student mental health support and class sizes. Minneapolis Federation of Teachers Education support professionals, including special education assistants, want the district to increase starting pay to $35,000. The current typical starting wage is about $24,000, according to the Minneapolis […]

Bill would let more homeless Minnesota families get housing help

By: - February 11, 2022

A bill to expand eligibility for a Minnesota program aimed at ending homelessness among families cleared the House early childhood committee Friday. The proposal from Rep. Dave Pinto, DFL-St. Paul, would allow families with babies and toddlers to seek help from the Homework Starts with Home program. Currently, only families with children in preschool through […]

The state of child care in Minnesota, in four charts

By: - February 11, 2022

Minnesota’s struggling child care industry is already a centerpiece of this year’s legislative session, as lawmakers and advocates push to spend some of the state’s $7.7 billion projected surplus on early childhood programs. Even before 2020, child care providers said staying afloat was a challenge, and parents described finding affordable care as a nightmarish task. […]