ST. PAUL, Minn. – Following passage of the revised E-12 bill on Friday during the Minnesota Legislature’s Special Session, Chair of the Senate E-12 Committee Sen. Chuck Wiger (DFL-Maplewood) released the following statement.
“The negotiated $525 million E-12 bill is a win for Minnesota families. This bill is the third largest state investment in state history – and it prioritized both funding schools at a level that met their budget requirements and visionary investments in early childhood education. We made more funding for pre-k a priority this year because when our children are ready for kindergarten they are more likely to succeed throughout their entire educational career,” said Wiger.
“This bill also addresses teacher development to foster and retain quality teachers, and money for facilities which allows districts to maintain and update their school buildings. We also took this opportunity to address the disparity in aid for Native American students, while simultaneously investing in programs that target the most at-risk kids in Minnesota’s communities. Everyone should be proud of this historic investment in our kids.”
“This year we also enacted real reforms within our education bill. We reduced the amount of time Minnesota students will spend on standardized tests in an effort to increase learning time. We also focused on getting more quality teachers into the classroom by making it easier for them to get their licenses by removing unnecessary barriers. These reforms that will make a real difference in the classroom.”
Among other provisions, the E-12 bill contains the following investments:
• $350.47 million for a 2 percent per pupil funding formula increase which means an additional $117/per student in FY16 and $119/per student in FY17
• $30.75 million for School Readiness
• $48.25 million for Early Learning Scholarships
• $31.9 million for School Facilities Funding
• $9.5 million for Teacher Development/QComp
• $10 million to eliminate the Head Start waiting list
• $9.5 million for Indian Education Formula Aid and $5 million for Bureau of Indian Affairs schools
• $4.2 million for English Language Learners
• $10 million for compensatory Pilot grants
• $4 million for Concurrent Enrollment
• $3.5 million for the Minnesota Reading Corps