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Release: Minnesota House Passes Education, Children and Families Supplemental Budget Conference Committee Report

Friday, May 17, 2024

SAINT PAUL, Minn. – This evening, the Minnesota House passed the conference committee report on HF 5237, the Education Supplemental Budget bill. The report also includes the Children and Families Supplemental Budget bill – originally passed on its own – following a compromise with the Senate. The report passed on a vote of 70-58. 

The Education Finance Budget portion of the report, authored by Rep. Cheryl Youakim (DFL – Hopkins), retains most of the budget proposal originally passed by the House, building on the Legislature’s investments last year by increasing funds for the READ Act, expanding Pre-K opportunities, providing paid student teaching experiences, addressing absenteeism, and establishing physical and mental health standards in Minnesota schools.

“Minnesotans deserve the resources to meet their students' unique needs,” said Rep. Cheryl Youakim (DFL-Hopkins), chair of the House Education Finance Committee. “That’s why we are continuing our commitment to deliver world-class public schools for every community in every corner of the state.” 

The Education Finance provisions in this conference committee report add new READ Act funding and provide districts with increased flexibility in using last year’s appropriations. It expands Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten programs by 5,200 seats beginning in 2025 and establishes working groups to ensure that English learner funds are being used in alignment with best practices and that teachers and paraprofessionals have comparable rates of pay to other jobs with similar requirements. 

The conference committee report includes multiple provisions to ensure teachers and paraprofessionals have the training they need to meet student needs, including a pilot program to pay student teachers. It also includes multiple provisions to address the growing rate of student absenteeism. Finally, the bill ensures students have access to the same baseline information about their physical and mental health through state standards so they can adopt and maintain healthy behaviors throughout life.

The Children & Families portion of the report, authored by Rep. Dave Pinto (DFL – St. Paul), also retains virtually all of the budget proposal originally passed by the House. It advances needed child-protection reforms; funds food bank, food shelves, and emergency shelter; strengthens child care and early learning; and furthers the ongoing transition to the new Department of Children, Youth, and Families.

“Every Minnesota child deserves a great start, and every family deserves the support needed to make that happen,” said Rep. Dave Pinto (DFL-St. Paul), chair of the House Children and Families Committee. “This conference committee report delivers on our shared values of investing in children and families so that all Minnesotans can thrive.” 

The Conference Committee Report now goes to Governor Walz for signature.