SAINT PAUL, MN. – Today, State Rep. Dave Pinto (DFL – St. Paul), shared his support for Governor Mark Dayton’s emergency school aid proposal, which would provide additional, needed state funding for school districts across the state. More than 59 school districts throughout Minnesota face immediate budget deficits that could result in hundreds of teachers and support staff being laid off, along with significant cuts to school programs. Governor Dayton’s proposal would increase school funding by 2 percent in the coming year, amounting to an additional $126 for every student in Minnesota.
“Investing in excellent schools for our students pays off many times over, for their families and for all of us,” said Rep. Pinto. “Public schools across the state, including in St. Paul, urgently need funding to keep more teachers in classrooms, keep class sizes down, and give students the chance to succeed. I am grateful for Governor Dayton’s continued leadership on behalf of children in St. Paul and throughout the state.”
Rep. Pinto highlighted the St. Paul Public Schools, which faces a $17.2 million budget shortfall in 2018-2019, and the harm this would have on students due to faculty and staff layoffs and crowded classrooms.
Across Minnesota, state aid has not kept pace with the rising cost of ensuring excellent educations for every Minnesota student. As shown in a recent study from the North Star Policy Institute, inflation-adjusted state funding for each Minnesota student dropped by $2,000 from 2003 to 2012. Recent investments championed by Governor Dayton have increased funding by more than $1,000 per student, but that still leaves Minnesota schools forced to do more with roughly $1,000 less per student than they had 15 years ago.
Based on voluntary survey data collected by the Association of Metro School Districts and the Minnesota Rural Education Association, at least 59 Minnesota school districts are facing budget deficits in the coming year. According to the Association of Metro School Districts, 26 school districts in the metropolitan area are facing deficits that could lead to hundreds of teacher layoffs. According to the Minnesota Rural Education Association, as least 33 school districts in Greater Minnesota will be eliminating staff due to budget deficits, including a total of 85 teachers and 75 non-licensed staff across these 33 districts.
Rep. Pinto encourages community members of St. Paul's Macalester-Groveland, Highland Park, and Fort Road/West 7th neighborhoods to contact him on any legislative issue. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone at 651-296-4199.