MSBA, Parents United, the Minnesota Association of School Administrators, Education Minnesota and other prominent education organizations held a press conference Monday in St. Paul to urge state lawmakers to adequately fund public education.
With a $1.9 billion state budget surplus in hand for the next biennium (fiscal years 2016 and 2017), the theme of the press conference was “If not now, then when?”
MSBA President Kevin Donovan called on the Legislature to adequately funding public education in order for schools to maintain (and expand) educational opportunities for the 850,000 students across Minnesota.
Click here to view President Donovan’s presentation during Monday’s press conference.
Parents United’s Ann Hobbie, St. Paul student James Farnsworth, Red Rock Elementary School (South Washington County) Principal Andy Caflisch, Chatfield Superintendent Ed Harris and Forest Lake Area teacher Allision Whittlef also delivered compelling presentations and testimonials.
Please view the photos below. Additional video testimony will be posted later this week.
Parents United for Public Schools’ Ann Hobbie opened Monday’s press conference. “We cannot simultaneously raise the bar for our students and schools and continue to cut budgets.”
A large number of concerned students attended Monday’s press conference.
MSBA President Kevin Donovan stands next to what education organizations are fighting for — the students of Minnesota.
A number of school board members attended Monday’s press conference.
Parents United had “bake sale” items on display. “Minnesota’s parents are tired of holding silent auctions, selling wrapping paper and holding raffles to fund basic needs,” said Parents United’s Ann Hobbie.
Following Monday’s press conference, MSBA President Kevin Donovan and MSBA Executive Director Kirk Schneidawind discussed education issues with Rep. Roz Peterson (left middle). Rep. Peterson is a former Lakeville Area School Board member.
MSBA President talked with Forest Lake Area School Board members (from left) Gail Theisen, Dan Kieger and Rob Rapheal following Monday’s press conference.
St. Paul Superintendent Valeria Silva answered questions from reporters following Monday’s press conference.
Mary Cecconi, Legislative Director for Parents United, answers media questions following Monday’s press conference.
MSBA President Kevin Donovan points out the House and Senate’s low targets for education spending during Monday’s press conference.
MSBA President Kevin Donovan called on the Legislature to increase funding for education during Monday’s press conference.
“It is the Legislature’s constitutional obligation to provide adequate an uniform funding for our public school students,” MSBA President Kevin Donovan said during Monday’s press conference.
Chatfield Superintendent Ed Harris said budget cuts will be likely for his district if the Legislature doesn’t raise its spending targets for public education.
Forest Lake Area teacher Allision Whittlef made a passionate plea to the Legislature to adequately fund public schools.
Andy Caflisch, principal of Red Rock Elementary School (South Washington County School District) talked about the types of cuts his school would see if the funding formula wasn’t adequately funded.
James Farnsworth, a junior at Highland Park High School in St. Paul, urged legislative leaders to not pass funding that would produce more budget cuts.