ST. PAUL, MINN. – Two years ago Minnesotans experienced firsthand what the entire nation is experiencing this week. When the government shuts down nobody wins. Minnesota schools have suffered ever since the state legislature — under Republican leadership borrowed or “shifted” $2.8 billion in order to end the Minnesota government shutdown.
Last week, the DFL-led legislature along with Governor Dayton repaid an additional $636 million to the schools at the end of the 2013 fiscal year. That brings the legislature’s payback amount to nearly $2.6 of the $2.8 billion owed to schools. The payback also marks another step towards a clean fiscal slate and stronger Minnesota schools.
Senator John Hoffman representing Champlin, Coon Rapids and Brooklyn Park, has deep roots in the Anoka-Hennepin School District and says he is proud of Minnesota for keeping its commitment to schools.
“Our state’s ability to pay back the schools in such a timely manner is proof that when we all work together – great things can happen. One only has to look at the partisan gridlock in Washington and the past gridlock in Minnesota to see that quietly working side-by-side gets you a lot further than a screaming match,” Senator Hoffman said.
The new state budget signed into law this spring is projected to begin the next biennium with a surplus. The budget invested close to $500 million in Minnesota’s students, and will be directed towards strategies that are proven to close the achievement gap, raise graduation rates and improve student career and college readiness.