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.

Early voting in Minnesota spiked before Super Tuesday

By: - March 2, 2020

Early voting in Minnesota spiked in the week before the 2020 presidential primary, with nearly 30,000 voters casting ballots between Feb. 21 and Feb. 28, according to the Minnesota Secretary of State. Almost as many ballots were cast that week as in the previous five weeks since Jan. 17, when absentee voting began in Minnesota. […]

Saint Paul teachers threaten strike over mental health care for students

By: - March 2, 2020

The threat of a teachers strike in Saint Paul beginning March 10 has shined a glaring light on an emerging crisis in schools both here and nationwide — untreated childhood mental illness.  The Saint Paul union says student mental health concerns are so urgent that they’re willing to walk out to push for more resources, […]

Six takeaways from Minnesota budget forecast, including coronavirus, inflation, GOP tax cuts

By: and - February 27, 2020

Minnesota’s projected budget surplus grew modestly, state budget officials said Thursday, swelling to $1.5 billion and immediately touching off fresh debate at the Capitol over legislative spending priorities. But looming over the forecast presentation was the unpredictable impact of the spreading coronavirus on the global economy. State legislative leaders said Thursday they will work to […]

Nearly 37,000 Minnesotans have already voted in the presidential primary

By: - February 27, 2020

More than 36,700 Minnesotans have already voted in this year’s presidential primary, according to the Minnesota Secretary of State. Absentee voting for the primary opened on Jan. 17, roughly six weeks before Super Tuesday, when residents in fourteen states — including Minnesota — will hold nominating contests. This year will be the first since 1992 that […]

The missing number that means Minnesota’s surplus isn’t so big, after all

By: - February 27, 2020

The first two weeks of Minnesota’s 2020 legislative session have been framed by the state’s projected $1.3 billion surplus, setting off debates at the Capitol over how to spend the extra funds and sparking calls for lower taxes in light of the expected windfall. But the state’s surplus is something of a mirage. Under a […]

Lawmakers introduce bill to amend constitution to address education gaps

By: - February 25, 2020

A bipartisan pair of state legislators introduced a bill Tuesday to amend the Minnesota Constitution to address Minnesota’s achievement gaps in education. The bill, introduced by State Reps. Rena Moran, DFL-St. Paul, and Rep. Ron Kresha, R-Little Falls, comes from a proposal by Minneapolis Federal Reserve President Neel Kashkari and retired state Supreme Court Justice […]

Report: Number of Minnesota children entering foster care fell 10% in 2018

By: - February 25, 2020

Nearly 6,750 Minnesota children entered foster care in 2018, a 10% decline from the year before, according to a recent report from the Minnesota Department of Human Services. A total of 16,488 children, including those already in foster care and those who were new to the system, were in foster care, roughly the same as […]

‘Increase Teachers of Color Act’ clears House committee

By: - February 20, 2020

A bill that aims to help Minnesota schools hire and retain more teachers of color cleared a House committee Wednesday, though prospects of it becoming law remain unclear. For several years, advocates have pressed for legislation to increase diversity in Minnesota’s teacher workforce, which has remained overwhelmingly white even as children of color make up […]

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Minneapolis’ racial disparities in home ownership worst in nation, report says

By: - February 19, 2020

Minneapolis has the largest gap between Black and non-Black home ownership rates in the United States, according to an analysis released this week by Zillow. Although the national Black home ownership rate grew in 2019 after reaching a 50-year low the year before, racial disparities still persist across much of the U.S. In Minneapolis, the […]

Survey: Workforce diversity in many industries doesn’t reflect state demographics

By: - February 19, 2020

Most Minnesota industries are whiter than the state’s overall population, according to a 2016 survey by the state’s Department of Employment and Economic Development. The industries that most closely matched the state’s racial demographics were health care and leisure and hospitality, reporting that 17% and 15% of employees, respectively, were not white. Roughly 16% of […]

GOP lawmakers unveil crime bills, point a literal finger at Minneapolis mayor

By: - February 17, 2020

Outstate Republican legislators today unveiled a proposal to tackle urban crime, months after they first started planting political seeds about the hazards of Minnesota’s cities. And Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey didn’t seem thrilled with the presentation. Frey attended the news conference about the “Safety In Our Cities” plan, during which “roughly a dozen state lawmakers, joined […]

St. Paul needs more police officers, report says. Here’s how the numbers break down.

By: - February 17, 2020

The St. Paul Police Department needs more than 100 additional officers and staff, a study by the department says — a recommendation at odds with the city’s 2020 budget, which reduced the total number of employees in the police force. Mayor Melvin Carter and Police Chief Todd Axtell disagreed on how to approach the city’s recent […]