Bringing Equity to School Funding
ST. PAUL, Minn. – In an effort to bring equity to school funding, Sen. LeRoy Stumpf’s (DFL-Plummer) bill to lift the cap on Alternative Compensation (Q Comp) was heard in the Senate’s E-12 Finance Committee on Thursday. This legislation will allow all school districts to qualify and receive money from the state-funded alternative compensation program. Currently, about a third of all Minnesota school districts qualify for the funding – which offers teachers career advancement options, job-embedded professional development, performance pay and more.
“Speaking as one of the legislature’s rural members, I see a lot of inequity in my district in terms of how schools are funded. Many small school districts across the state are at a distinct disadvantage because there is a cap on the Q Comp funding system and that means these districts aren’t allowed to sign up for a program that could bring hundreds of thousands if not millions of extra aid into their districts and provide teachers with quality professional development and performance pay opportunities. My bill lifts that cap to level out the playing field,” said Sen. Stumpf
The current Q Comp system is capped at $75.6 million per year and provides up to $260 per student ($169 in state aid and an additional $91 per pupil from an optional local levy). This money is used to design and implement programs that help reward good teachers and helps pay costs associated with teacher development and evaluation. About 45 percent of all Minnesota students are served in Q Comp districts.
Stumpf’s legislation proposes to add $17 million to the Q Comp system in the year 2017, with significant increases in the FY2018-2019 biennium.
“This is an issue I’ve worked on for many years. I think schools in my district will find that if this bill passes, they will have the option to get a significant addition of dollars that will help recruit and retain quality teachers, and lead to a fairer funding system in general,” said Sen. Stumpf.
For more information, Sen. Stumpf can be reached at LeRoyS@senate.mn or at (651) 296-8660.