School Finance Working Group discusses property tax equalization, basic formula

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The Minnesota Department of Education’s School Finance Working Group met August 13 to dig deeper into two key financial pressure points in education funding: property tax equalization and the basic formula.

As the School Finance Working Group gets closer to finalizing their recommendations, they have focused on two changes that would create a more predictable, stable and equitable funding — adjusting the basic education formula for inflation and creating a new funding mechanism to take pressure off the property tax system.

These actions address major concerns the group identified last week that the basic formula has lost $650 per pupil to inflation since 2013. How do school districts cope? They supplement with local property taxes by passing referendums — which creates a greater disparity in education funding across the state.

The next working group meetings are scheduled for:

  • 4 p.m. Thursday, August 20
  • 4 p.m. Thursday, August 27
  • 4 p.m. Thursday, September 10
  • 4 p.m. Thursday, September 17
  • 5:30 p.m. Thursday, September 24

The group will continue formulating recommendations for reforming education funding over the next few weeks.

The working group’s mission is to address education-funding issues facing the state. The group reviews key funding streams, identifies options for school finance reform, and seeks consensus on recommendations for systemic change. A review of previous working group sessions is available on the School Finance Working Group webpage.

About mnmsba

The Minnesota School Boards Association, a leading advocate for public education, supports, promotes and strengthens the work of public school boards.
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