ST. PAUL, Minn. — Early Wednesday morning, Education Finance Committee Chair Senator Mary Kunesh (DFL-New Brighton) and Education Policy Committee Chair Senator Steve Cwodzinski (DFL-Eden Prairie) ushered the K-12 education omnibus bill (HF 2497) that will provide Minnesota schools with unprecedented funding to passage in the Senate on a 35-32 vote.
The chairs released the following statement on the bill’s passage:
“This education budget will invest in Minnesota schools, educators, and students like never before. Every family and community will benefit from the historic increases in the per-pupil formula and funding for special education, student support staff, and teacher training in this legislation, which was built by and for the students, teachers, administrators, and other leaders in education who share their stories at the Capitol this session. This bill addresses the heart of what students need to succeed: Holistic support in and out of the classroom; relevant, rigorous and engaging courses; and a diverse, empowered cohort of educators with modern and effective teaching strategies at their fingertips. Whether we’re preparing Minnesota’s students to participate in our democracy and economy with personal finance and civics courses; supporting all our students, especially students of color, as they enter the teaching profession; or providing accessible mental health support, academic advice, and basic needs like no-cost meals and accessible menstrual hygiene products; this bill will uplift Minnesota’s schools, educators, and families so that every student—regardless of their race, ZIP code, or income—can succeed in education and in life.
“We are extremely proud of this legislation and its landmark investments in our schools, educators, and students. Thank you to our colleagues in the House and Senate who have helped shaped this legislation; we look forward to Governor Walz’s signature on this bill.”
Highlights of the bill include:
- A 4% increase to the education formula in FY 2024 and 2% in 2025, and increased funding in FY 2026 and 2027 at a minimum of 2% and max of 3% to provide schools with much-needed stability
- Increasing state coverage of special education and English language learning cross subsidies:
- Covering 44% of the special education cross subsidy in FY 2024-2026 and 50% in FY 2027
- Covering 83% of the English language learning cross subsidy by FY 2027
- $60 million next biennium for the Increase Teachers of Color Act
- $45 million for school libraries and $8 million for regional libraries — the most substantial investment in school, public, and multi-purpose libraries in decades
- $3.5 million to end period poverty in schools by providing free menstrual products for students, and to provide opioid antagonists to help in the case of opioid overdoses
- $74.6 million for the READ Act, to provide funding for professional development and curriculum to make sure Minnesotan kids can read
- $64.4 million next biennium for increased student support personnel to address shortages of school counselor, school psychologist, school social worker, school nurse, and chemical dependency counselors in Minnesota schools
HF 2497 first passed the Senate 35-32 on April 24; it passed the House on April 20, 70-60, and again on May 16, 70-62. It will now go to Governor Tim Walz for signature into law.