Sen. Hoffman calls for greater education investments
ST. PAUL, MINN – Senate Republicans recently released their budget targets – which serves as an outline for how much spending will take place in each budget category as the legislature puts together a two-year state budget. The budget target for the education committee was a mere $300 million, less than half of Governor Dayton’s $619 million education proposal, and not enough to fund many of the Senate Republicans top priorities.
Republican leaders (as well as Governor Dayton and Senate DFLers) have stated publicly they support a 2 percent funding formula increase which goes directly to Minnesota schools to pay for quality education for our students. That increase costs $371 million over the next two years – but Republicans didn’t include enough money in their budget target to make that important investment. Sen. John Hoffman (DFL-Champlin) released the following statement expressing his dismay in Republicans’ maligned budget priorities.
“In order to truly stay committed to Minnesota workers and businesses – we must invest in education. Minnesota has a highly educated workforce and is continually ranked as one of the best states to live, work and raise a family – and it’s because of our excellent education system. Which means when Republicans propose spending less than half of what the Governor proposes, they are shortchanging our kids, and our schools.
Let’s take a lesson from the history books and not put nearly a billion dollars towards tax cuts for wealthy corporations – like Republicans are currently proposing. We must keep moving forward – and in order to do that we can’t give away our tax dollars to big business, we must reinvest them in our children and their education,” said Sen. Hoffman.
By way of comparison, two years ago under Senate DFL leadership, the legislature appropriated $525 million for the 16-17 budget. That investment included funding a 2 percent increase to the funding formula each year as well as around $80 million for early education.