With $9.25 billion surplus, $30.7 million is shameful and falls far short of what’s needed
With a historic opportunity to address long unmet needs and the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic on our students, parents, and school staff, Senate Republicans failed to deliver for the state’s schools by passing a supplemental budget bill that falls embarrassingly short. Despite a $9.25 billion budget surplus, the Republican majority advanced a final bill that spends a paltry $30.7 million on a vote of 37-29.
“Today’s bill made clear where Republican priorities are: with a historic budget surplus, Senate Republicans are prioritizing tax cuts that favor the wealthy over supporting the needs of our students, parents, and school staff,” said Senate DFL Leader Melisa López Franzen. “Throughout this legislative session, the majority has shown a complete disregard for the needs of our communities and the needs of Minnesotans. With less than three weeks until our adjournment, I urge my colleagues across the aisle to listen to what Minnesotans are asking for.”
“We know what students need to succeed: quality teachers, more counselors and nurses, funding for special education and English language learners, early education opportunities, reliable transportation to school, support to improve reading proficiency, and a healthy meal,” said Senator Chuck Wiger (DFL-Maplewood). “Yet today’s bill only includes one small investment in literacy programming to one nonprofit group This is not enough. Students, families and teachers have faced unprecedented challenges and serious disruptions to their lives over the past two years. We need robust, fully funded schools to help them succeed and thrive. We have a historic opportunity to do what is right by our students, and this bill falls far short. I voted yes today to serve on the conference committee where I will fight to make this bill better with my House colleagues.”