The Minnesota School Boards Association (MSBA) — representing the state’s 332 public school districts — is urging the state Legislature to adequately fund public education during the 2015 legislative session. Adequate funding is MSBA’s No. 1 priority for this legislative session.
The Minnesota House of Representatives is proposing only an additional $157 million to its budget target for public education. The Minnesota Senate is offering more at $361 million, but this is also insufficient.
MSBA would like the Legislature to support a higher budget target — like Gov. Dayton’s target of $695 million — AND at least a 3 percent increase on the education funding formula for both years of the upcoming biennium (fiscal years 2016 and 2017).
We can’t get to 3 percent with the House and Senate budget targets. The House and Senate targets would underfund public schools, causing school boards to cut their budgets and reduce their teaching staffs.
“Adequate, predictable and stable funding would allow schools to close the achievement gap, maintain and enhance learning opportunities for students, and build tomorrow’s workforce,” said MSBA Executive Director Kirk Schneidawind. “The state’s highest priority should be investing in our public schools.”