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RELEASE: House DFL Expected to Approve E-12 Education Budget

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

St. Paul, MN This evening, the Minnesota House of Representatives is expected to approve a new E-12 education budget that makes honest investments in every student in every public school. The budget is inspired by parents, students, teachers, staff, and administrators who have told legislators that current funding levels are not adequate.

 “All Minnesota children deserve a world-class education and every opportunity to succeed,” said House Speaker Melissa Hortman. “Our Minnesota Values Budget would make significant investments in education to strengthen our workforce and support our students. House DFLers are working to build a Minnesota that works for everyone.”

 As a result of destructive Republican budgeting, Minnesota’s public schools have experienced chronic underfunding. While some communities have the financial ability to build great schools through bond referendums and bigger operating levies, other communities with smaller property tax bases do not.

“At a time when Minnesotans are expecting more from our schools, destructive Republican budgets have denied them the resources they need to succeed,” said House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler. “DFLers are committed to building a bright future for our students by making these investments in education this year.”

 The House DFL E-12 education budget includes $900 million in new investments and would:

  • Increase the per-pupil funding formula by 3% in the first year and by another 2% in the second year of the biennium ($520 million).
  • Keep students, teachers, and staff safer while in school. 
  • Address Minnesota’s special education funding shortfall.
  • Protect access to voluntary Pre-K programs for 4,000 children.
  • Let schools hire additional student support staff, such as licensed counselors, psychologists, social workers, and nurses.
  • Give schools more tools to recruit and retain more teachers of color.
  • Expand students’ ability to earn college credits and develop skills through career and technical education programs.

“For decades, the state’s commitment to schools has not kept pace with inflation,” said Representative Jim Davnie (DFL-Minneapolis), Chair of the Education Finance Division. “Minnesotans have been loud and clear the bright future we want to build for Minnesota requires honest investment.”

The House DFL E-12 education budget also includes policy reforms that will:

  • Improve Minnesota’s teacher licensure system.
  • Reduce special education paperwork.
  • Keep students safe through comprehensive sexual education and consent training.
  • Require school districts to test for lead and radon.

 After the Minnesota House and Senate approve their respective E-12 education budgets, lawmakers from each chamber form a conference committee to reach agreement on a final version.