Sen. Stumpf applauds E-12 education budget bill
ST. PAUL, Minn. – Senator LeRoy Stumpf (DFL- Plummer) announced the E-12 education budget bill passed on April 11 and will be heard in the finance committee next week. The bill makes critical investments in classrooms, reduces property taxes for families and businesses and makes education funding more equitable for Northern Minnesota by increasing the state commitment to funding schools.
“I’m proud of the work of the Senate E-12 Finance Division and the commitment this bill makes to our children and schools,” Stumpf said. “We invested in funding for early education and statewide all-day kindergarten and included millions to buy down school levies and cut property taxes, reversing the harmful trend of forcing property taxpayers to pay for basic education programs.”
Key components of the bill include:
• Funding all-day kindergarten: $130 million investment to provide the opportunity for all Minnesota students to participate in all-day kindergarten to improve literacy and math skills.
• Basic Funding Formula Increase: The $100 million investment for classroom education will help ensure school districts have stable and equitable resources.
• Early childhood education: $44 million for scholarships to help lower-income families attend early childhood education programs.
• Special Education Investment: $9 million to provide additional resources for children and reduces paperwork for instructors.
• Makes changes in the state’s testing system for students.
One of the key elements of the bill Sen. Stumpf worked on is the $150 million in levy reductions converted to state aid, which will reduce property taxes for Minnesota families and businesses. “We just can’t afford the double digit property taxes families have endured in the past ten years,” said Stumpf. “This provision will help equalize school funding across the state, and will especially help districts that have difficulty passing local school levies.”
In addition to passing the education bill, the Senate made significant progress toward completing its budget this week as committees approved major finance bills for colleges and universities, the court system, and state government agencies, including veteran services. At the same time, senators gathered hours of public testimony as they continued to craft budget bills in the areas of health and human services, environment, economic development and agriculture.
“Although work on the budget is not complete, this week’s significant progress reflects our commitment to building a budget around a balanced approach that makes critical new investments, smart reforms, and strategic cuts,” Stumpf said. “All of our budget proposals make much-needed investments to improve the quality of life across Minnesota while pushing for cost-saving reforms that ensure taxpayers are getting the best value for their dollar.”
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