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Legislature > House of Representatives > House Research > Taxes > Major State Aids & Taxes

Major State Aids & Taxes: Education Aid

Program Description

Education aid is the total amount of state aid paid to school districts for all K-12 educational purposes. This amount includes state aid for general education, special education, transportation, community education, capital expenditure, secondary vocational, and other miscellaneous programs. About 84 percent of the total aid (including aid to charter schools) is general education aid.


Aid Amount and Reporting

2012/2013 Education Aid: $7.1 billion

The total education aid for the 2012/2013 school year is $7,138,176,325. This total includes $440,428,030 that went to the 148 charter schools operating in the 2012/2013 school year. The amounts received by school districts for property tax credits (i.e., agricultural market value credit, taconite homestead credit, disparity reduction credit, etc.) are not included in this amount since they are itemized elsewhere in the report.

Education aid is paid to school districts, many of which operate in more than one county. Education aid paid to school districts that operate in more than one county is apportioned to the various counties based on each county's share of total residential market value in the school district. For example, if one-fifth of the residential market value of a school district is in County A, two-fifths in County B, and the remaining two-fifths in County C, then one-fifth of the school district's education aid is apportioned to County A, two-fifths to County B, and two-fifths to County C. Aid to charter schools is reported in the county in which each school is located. A separate page lists education aid by school district for 2012/2013 and lists the counties in which each school district operates.

The 2012/2013 education aid total does not include amounts paid to entities other than school districts:

  • $81.6 million to intermediate school districts1
  • $50.5 million to cooperative school organizations
  • $28.0 million to colleges and universities participating in the postsecondary enrollment options (PSEO) program
  • $20.1 million to Head Start programs
  • $7.9 million to nonprofits operating adult basic education
  • $2.6 million to the Faribault Academies for the Deaf and Blind
  • $1.6 million to four tribal contract schools
  • $0.1 million to South Dakota school districts

1An intermediate school district is an educational cooperative authorized by statute and voluntarily created by participating school districts. Intermediate school districts offer special education services, vocational services, alternative learning programs, and administrative services for member school districts.

Education aid by home county by school district was obtained from the Minnesota Department of Education.

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Recent Law Changes

The state aid share of school district revenue that is promised to the school district through Minnesota's school finance formulas is called the "aid entitlement." This data shows the school state aid entitlement amounts for each district. The amount actually paid to school districts by the state during each fiscal year is called the "appropriation." Since school districts use the accrual method of accounting, the full amount of the aid entitlement owed to the district for a fiscal year is booked by the school district as revenue for that year, regardless of when the state aid is actually received. The state, on the other hand, uses a cash-based system of accounting. As a result, the "cost" to the state of school aid is only the actual appropriation for a particular school year, not the aid entitlement.

Payment shifts have been used to address state budget shortfalls since the early 1980s. For fiscal years 2010 to 2012, the school aid payment shifts were reinstated and portions of school aid payments were delayed until the following fiscal year. The amounts of school aid shown in this data are the state aid entitlements (the amount of state aid received by the school district for the relevant fiscal year). The property tax recognition shift and the aid payment shift have no effect on the amounts shown here.

In fiscal year 2010, the state received about $500 million in federal aid for education under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). The ARRA aid replaced state education aid, accounting for a large share of the state aid decrease from the 2008/2009 school year to the 2009/2010 school year, followed by an increase to the 2010/2011 school year.

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Per Capita Maps

Map of education aid by county Map of education aid by economic development region

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The Past Five Years of Education Aid

The table below shows the distribution of education aid in thousands of dollars for the past five years for the state and economic development regions. The graph shows total dollars of education aid for that same time period in nominal (actual) and constant (inflation-adjusted) dollars.

Education Aid: 2008/2009 School Year to 2012/2013 School Year
Nominal dollars, in thousands
2008/2009 2009/2010 2010/2011 2011/2012 2012/2013 5-Yr. Chg. Aid
State $6,741,000 $6,145,177 $6,728,024 $6,877,990 $7,138,176 6%

Northern Regions
Northwest (1)
Headwaters (2)
Arrowhead (3)
West Central (4)
Five (5)
East Central (7E)
124,937
121,417
364,734
259,577
209,864
198,318
111,814
111,196
328,502
235,590
188,824
176,971
120,871
121,080
360,156
257,768
207,312
193,245
120,626
123,435
363,533
264,229
208,172
195,664
124,793
128,524
373,037
274,462
213,595
199,963
0
6
2
6
2
1

Southern Regions
Six East (6E)
Upper MN Valley (6W)
Central MN (7W)
Southwest (8)
Nine (9)
Southeastern MN (10)
148,861
63,471
499,608
160,731
253,383
589,531
135,836
56,717
460,902
146,373
229,082
536,471
145,180
60,329
510,613
157,480
248,843
588,819
145,610
60,147
526,413
160,103
252,988
601,292
153,139
61,639
547,322
166,663
261,899
627,162
3
-3
10
4
3
6
Total Nonmetro $2,994,430 $2,718,278 $2,971,694 $3,022,211 $3,132,198 5%

Metro Region
Hennepin County
Ramsey County
Remaining Metro
1,429,970
721,013
1,595,586
1,309,909
659,088
1,457,902
1,429,907
730,511
1,595,912
1,470,716
746,641
1,638,422
1,524,462
776,307
1,705,210
7
8
7
Total Metro $3,746,570 $3,426,899 $3,756,329 $3,855,778 $4,005,978 7%

Statewide Education Aid

Line graph of education aid for five-year period

March 2017

House Research Department  ♦  600 State Office Building, Saint Paul, MN  55155  ♦  House.Research@house.mn  ♦  651-296-6753