SAINT PAUL, Minn. – Senate Majority Leader Kari Dziedzic (DFL-Minneapolis) said the Senate passed a historic K-12 education budget early Wednesday that invests $5.5 billion in Minnesota students, schools, teachers and support staff, and ensures that school districts are provided the resources to lower class size, fund special education, close the literacy gap, and expand mental health services.
Majority Leader Dziedzic said the omnibus education finance and policy bills were authored by Senate Education Policy Chair Steve Cwodzinski (DFL-Eden Prairie), and by Senate Education Finance Committee Chair Mary Kunesh (DFL-New Brighton) and combined into one bill.
“Minnesotans told us they value strong schools that provide students with a top-notch education that will put them on the path to success,” said Majority Leader Dziedzic. “After years of underfunding, the Senate DFL majority has heard the concerns of parents, teachers, students and school administrators and made our students a top priority. The additional and historic funding in these important bills will help us reduce class size, improve student outcomes, and support teachers and staff. It will also pay for a much larger portion of special educations costs that have constrained school district budgets across the state and help us address the growing need for mental health services.”
“These bills will invest in Minnesota’s schools, students, and educators like never before,” said Senator Kunesh. “From comprehensive health and social services for our state’s youngest learners and their families; to unprecedented increases in the per-pupil formula, support for our students’ mental health, and recruiting teachers of color; to landmark increases in adult and community education and increased funding for libraries and library media specialists, these bills uplift lifelong education in Minnesota. I’m grateful to all my colleagues for shepherding this legislation through to passage, and I look forward to getting it to Governor Walz’s desk to be signed into law.”
“Today, the Senate secured Minnesota’s reputation as a state that puts students and teachers first. The policies in this bill will ensure that every Minnesotan child receives a world-class education in a safe, welcoming environment,” said Senator Cwodzinski. “Classes like personal finance and civics education will help our students become informed, capable members of our economy and democracy. Policies like the Teachers of Color Act, ethnic studies, and updated anti-harassment policies will keep students safe, seen, and comfortable in class. And we’re meeting the pedagogical needs of students through free school meals and menstrual equity. I’m grateful to all my colleagues for their part in ushering this bill through to passage, and I look forward to it becoming law. ”