Gov. Mark Dayton released his 2015 biennial budget today. His budget reflects his priorities for Minnesota. As you will note in this spreadsheet, he titles his budget the “Children/Education Package.” We mention this because it is an appropriate title since half of his budget ($211,290,000) is committed to K-12 education and the other half to early learning ($206,328,000). Our spreadsheet provides the funding attached to each of the different priority programs.
The governor’s recommendations include:
- Increase the General Education basic formula by 1 percent in FY 2016 and an additional 1 percent in FY 2017. This would increase the per pupil formula by $58 in FY 2016 and an additional $59 in FY 2017.
- Increase the equalizing factor for operating capital revenue
- Implementation of a voluntary, year-round prekindergarten program offered to parents at no charge.
- Eliminating the current wait list for Head Start
- Increasing support for the Minnesota Reading Corps program which places AmeriCorps members in early childhood, afterschool, and school settings.
- Supporting the implementation of a comprehensive, collaborative system that will enable the state to align with the National Help Me Grow Model.
- Expanding the work of the state’s six Regional Centers of Excellence, enabling the centers to provide the same services that priority and focus schools currently receive to 200 more schools, including schools with a continuous improvement designation.
- Expanding the school free breakfast program to include prekindergarten and grades 1-3.
- Increasing support to schools for English Learner (EL) students by extending funding for up to 7 years.
- Providing additional support to accelerate the implementation of school-wide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) in schools and districts throughout Minnesota.
- Increasing support for the Northside Achievement Zone and St. Paul Promise Neighborhood programs.
- Additional funding for the Board of Teaching and Department of Education.
- Expanding support for the Success for the Future program, which provides grants to eligible schools and districts to develop comprehensive and collaborative plans to support academic achievement, decrease the dropout rate and improve the school climate for American Indian students in a culturally appropriate manner.
MSBA will spend the next few days dissecting his budget in greater detail as the Department of Education presents his recommendations in the House and Senate education committees throughout the week.