SAINT PAUL, Minn. — In the early hours of Wednesday morning, the Senate passed the $2.3 billion Education budget bill. Senator Heather Gustafson (DFL—Vadnais Heights), Vice of Chair of the Senate Education Finance Committee, voted in favor of the legislation.
“This Education budget bill is the biggest public school funding boost in state history,” said Senator Gustafson. “Our budget provides school districts with the resources they need to ensure that parents, students, and teachers are positioned for success and students can have a great learning environment. Despite Republican claims to the contrary, there are no ‘unfunded mandates’ in this budget. And not only did we fund our schools at historic levels — we also covered a significant portion of the unfunded federal mandates that have created huge gaps in our school districts’ finances.”
Senator Gustafson highlighted the inclusion of the READ Act and mental health funding, saying that these policies will improve educational outcomes and enhance the learning environment for students.
“When we passed my universal school meals bill at the start of session, I knew that we were taking an important step forward to create a better public education system for Minnesota’s students,” added Senator Gustafson. “With the passage of the Education Budget, we are taking yet another monumental step toward ensuring that all of Minnesota’s students are able to achieve their potential.”
The E-12 Education budget passed on a 35-32 vote. All DFL Senators and one Republican voted yes, and 32 Republicans voted no. The bill passed in both the House and Senate and will now be sent to Governor Walz for his signature.
Photo courtesy of Senate Media. Description: Senator Heather Gustafson (DFL–Vadnais Heights, right) speaks with Senator Clare Oumou Verbeten (DFL–Saint Paul, left) on the floor of the Minnesota Senate.