Senator Bonnie Westlin Speaks Out Ahead of Special Education Funding Hearing

ST. PAUL, Minn. – On Tuesday, Education Finance Committee member Senator Bonnie Westlin (DFL-Plymouth) spoke on the DFL’s legislative priorities for education this session, alongside Senator Mary Kunesh, chair of the Education Finance Committee; Senator Steve Cwodzinski, chair of the Education Policy Committee; and several of their DFL colleagues from both committees: Senators Alice Mann, Clare Oumou Verbeten, and Heather Gustafson.

Senator Westlin is the chief author of SF 28, which would fully fund special education programs in Minnesota schools. Her bill would create a dedicated funding source for unfunded federal special education mandates and allow districts to provide essential special education programming without drawing from their general funds.

“We have heard from parents, and administrators, and school officials, and teachers that we need to fully fund special education,” said Senator Westlin. “It is about time that we do this for our students, and I’m determined to get this over the finish line.”

“We heard [testimony] from our kids last week [in Education Finance Committee],” Senator Westlin continued. “They spoke passionately and intelligently about what they want in their education. More than anything, we should be creating a generation of curious lifelong learners. We should be giving them the tools that they need to succeed throughout their lifetime.”

The Education Finance committee will hear SF 28 on Thursday, January 19, at 8:30 a.m.

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Senator Bonnie Westlin represents Senate District 42 which includes Maple Grove, Medicine Lake, and Plymouth. She is vice chair of the Elections Committee and serves on the Education Finance Committee and the Judiciary and Public Safety Committee.

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