It is time to Stand Up For Minnesota Public Schools!
This past week at the Capitol brought budget targets from the House and Senate.
Click here to view a spreadsheet featuring a comparison of these general fund targets. (Note: The spreadsheet was developed by nonpartisan Senate Counsel, Research and Fiscal Analysis Office).
The House, Senate and Gov. Mark Dayton have established the amounts they want to dedicate to each part of the state budget. Negotiations over these target amounts will occur during the final six weeks of the 2015 legislative session.
Let’s take a look at the E-12 education targets:
GOVERNOR DAYTON: Gov. Dayton’s E-12 education has the largest target with $694 million. With a $1.8 billion surplus he (generously and wisely) devotes 38 percent of the surplus to E-12. However, Gov. Dayton proposed only a 1 percent increase (amounting to $58 per pupil; MSBA would like at least a 3 percent increase on the funding formula) for the next biennium. Investments on the formula give elected school boards and administrators maximum flexibility to meet the goals of the World’s Best Workforce (technology, professional development, preschool programs/kindergarten readiness, third-grade reading, etc.).
Send a message to Governor Dayton thanking him for devoting 38 percent of the surplus to education. Ask him to increase his spending on the formula. This will provide school boards and superintendents with the greatest flexibility in meeting the goals associated with the World’s Best Workforce. Also, encourage him to increase funding for school readiness. Visit http://mn.gov/governor/contact-us/form to contact Gov. Dayton.
THE SENATE: The Senate target for E-12 education is $350 million. The Senate is devoting a modest 19 percent of the surplus to E-12 education — basically half of what the governor proposed. If they put the whole $350 million on the formula (which is highly unlikely), it would be approximately a 2 percent increase on the basic education formula. However, there is no guarantee that the Senate will dedicate this amount to the general education formula.
Send a message your senator along with MSBA to minimize categorical spending and provide equitable funding for every student. Categorical funding eliminates flexibility and decision-making for boards and administrators. Policy and funding decisions are more effective when made by those who understand them — local school board members.
Visit http://www.gis.leg.mn/OpenLayers/districts to find your local senator.
THE HOUSE: The House plans to devote $157 million (8.7 percent of the surplus) to E-12 education. The House majority has made tax relief their highest priority by proposing $2 billion for targeted tax relief. For every $1 they are spending in education, they are providing $12.70 in targeted tax relief.
Send a message to your representative along with MSBA to persuade the House to add $300 million (a sum they left unallocated for future use) to its education target. MSBA seeks the highest target with the greatest flexibility.
Visit http://www.gis.leg.mn/OpenLayers/districts to find your local representative.