Senate Republicans unveiled their budget targets Tuesday, which includes a voucher proposal that provides funding for non-public school tuition, textbooks, computers and other school services and once again underfunds Minnesota’s public schools at a time of crisis.
Following the announcement, Senator Chuck Wiger (DFL-Maplewood), ranking DFL-Lead on the Senate Education Finance and Policy Committee, released the following statement:
“This is an unacceptable budget target for Minnesota’s students and schools, and it is beyond disappointing for my Senate colleagues to suggest they are fully-funding schools. Instead, they are funneling public school and taxpayer dollars to private schools.
The pandemic has shown the great needs facing our students, families, and schools. These needs require real investment to help with mental health and nutritional crises, learning loss, and the other challenges students and families have faced over the last year. We need to do more for our students and schools.
By refusing to address this crisis facing our schools while using public money for private schools, Senate Republicans are only ensuring an unequal recovery for Minnesota’s students. I urge my colleagues to show their commitment to closing the opportunity gap and supporting our students and families by putting their money where their mouth is, and honestly and adequately fund our schools.”