Sen. Jensen discusses her plan to close the rural school funding “donut hole”
Senator Vicki Jensen (DFL-Owatonna) presented legislation in the Senate’s E-12 Education Finance Committee today that will fix a significant inequality in education funding created last session. The senator’s legislation accomplishes one of her top goals of the 2014 session, by giving all schools access to Location Equity Revenue.
“Last session’s investment in education was great for a lot of school districts, but not all,” said Sen. Jensen. “This legislation will improve upon the investment we made last year and ensures that all districts and students are included.”
Last year, the Legislature’s Tax Bill increased per pupil funding for the Twin Cities Metro and Greater Minnesota school districts serving more than 2,000 students. On the opposite end, small-school revenue was reserved for school districts with fewer than 960 students. This left any Greater Minnesota school district with a student count between 961 and 1,999 in a “donut hole” without much needed investment.
“This is a simple, common-sense fix that should receive support from both sides of the aisle,” said Sen. Jensen. “We passed the bill through its first step in the committee process today and I expect to have something passed for our schools before the end of session.”
The legislation has bipartisan support, and will give school districts across the state additional flexibility to meet the needs of their students.