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State Representative JoAnn Ward

231 State Office BuildingState Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
651-296-7807

For more information contact: Gina Kunesh 651-296-5526

Posted: 2017-05-09
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Legislative Update

Legislative Update- Teacher Appreciation Week


Dear Neighbors,

This week, we recognize National Teacher Appreciation week; a time to thank our educators for all the hard work and long hours they put in to help our children achieve bright futures.

I’ve had the opportunity to meet with and listen to many teachers from our community at the Capitol and at town halls over the course of this legislative session.  I’ve consistently heard the same plea: please fully fund our schools. 

The House Majority’s education bill significantly underfunds student needs, with a below-inflation 1.5% general education formula increase each year, elimination of the Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten program, no additional funding to deal with the special education cross subsidy and no additional funds to assist in the hiring of school counselors and other support staff who make such a big difference in the lives of our children.  Importantly, it also includes no funding to assist school districts with increased pension costs.

At the same time the proposed GOP tax bill includes almost $60 million in private school neo-vouchers, which direct money away from our public schools.

I have deep respect for the work teachers do each and every day to create opportunities for growth and achievement for all our students. I believe that the state should partner with educators in meeting the needs of our students and families. These bills fail to achieve this important goal. Quality public education has been a source of pride for all Minnesotans, and a driver of economic progress for individuals and our business community.

Bills are moving quickly, despite limited negotiations, and could advance to the House Floor at any time.  Your action is needed. You can help by contacting House Speaker Daudt or Senate Majority Leader Gazelka to let them know our students deserve better and this bill is in no shape to move forward.

Thank you for your advocacy.

Sincerely,

JoAnn Ward

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