ST. PAUL, Minn. — Early Wednesday morning, the Minnesota Senate passed a bill making landmark investments in early education for Minnesotans (HF 2292) 38-29. The early education omnibus budget bill provides $500 million dollars of investment in early learning scholarships, Head Start programming, and funding to encourage careers in early education.
Education Finance Committee Chair and chief author Senator Mary Kunesh (DFL-New Brighton) released the following statement:
“Today, the Legislature has affirmed that every student in Minnesota matters. I am extremely proud of this legislation and its landmark investment in our youngest learners, their teachers, and their families. When we support early education, we prepare children for a lifetime of achievement. When we increase access to the early education career path with scholarships and mentorship, we make education a robust field for anyone who chooses it. I look forward to this bill’s passage into law and the wonderful opportunities it will make possible for the youngest Minnesotans and their families.”
Highlights of HF 2292 include:
- $252 million in early learning scholarships in FY 2024 and 2025, with expanded eligibility
- $20 million in additional funding to Head Start
- $5 million for Grow Your Own early learning educator programs
- $4.3 million for Great START Scholarship programs
- Increasing development and preschool screening aid for the first time since 2008
The House re-passed HF 2292 on a 71-61 vote on May 15. It will now move to Governor Tim Walz for signature into law.