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State Representative Paul Thissen

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Posted: Apr 14 2015 1:59PM
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Press/News Releases

House GOP Education Bill Shortchanges Kids, Will Result in Teacher Layoffs


Saint Paul, Minnesota - House Republicans unveiled their E-12 education bill today. The state has a nearly $2 billion surplus and Minnesota is in the middle of the pack when it comes to per pupil education funding. Yet, the Republicans provide less than a 1% increase in funding overall for E-12 education and only a 0.6% increase on the funding formula. School officials across the state have told legislators that shortchanging schools with less than 1% increase will result in budget cuts and teacher layoffs. The bill also shortchanges early learning. It doesn’t include resources for universal pre-K and only includes $30 million for early learning scholarships.

 

The Republican lackluster education bill is in stark contrast to the education gains made by Governor Dayton and the DFL-led legislature over the past two years.

 

In 2013, while facing a $627 million deficit, Democrats passed a budget that paid back all the money previously borrowed from schools and invested more than $500 million in E-12 education. That new investment including $134 million for all-day kindergarten across the state, $234 million for K-12 classrooms, and $40 million for early education.

 

House DFL Leader Paul Thissen released the following statement:

 

“Minnesota’s kids are the biggest loser in the House Republican budget. We have a huge opportunity to take another leap forward to ensure every child gets the world-class education they deserve. Instead, we are taking a step back. This is another Republican budget and another missed opportunity.

 

To make matters worse, Republicans are underfunding our kids’ future in order to provide massive tax breaks for corporate special interests. For every $1 they want to give to schools they are handing out $15 in tax breaks. That isn’t balanced. It isn’t fair. And it is the wrong way to make Minnesota stronger and competitive in the long-term.

 

Since the Republican budget targets were released we have been traveling the state talking with educators and school administrators. In every corner of the state, and especially in Greater Minnesota, we have heard that providing less than 1 percent for our schools will result in teacher layoffs and larger class sizes.

 

If the Republican legislature lays off teachers when our state has a $2 billion surplus then they deserve an F for failure.

 

We should seize the opportunity this session to invest in our kids form cradle to career. Instead of failing Minnesota’s kids, we should invest in our future.

 

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