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State Representative Jenifer Loon

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Posted: 2017-03-31
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Press Release

RELEASE: House passes Education bill with $1.1 billion increased funding for students and schools


House File 890 increases funding for K-12 schools, targets investments in proven early learning initiatives and advances policies to improve student learning and keep the best teachers in the classroom

ST. PAUL, Minn. – On Friday, the House passed the Education Omnibus bill on a bipartisan vote of 75-54. The bill, authored by Education Finance Chair Jenifer Loon, R-Eden Prairie, invests $1.1 billion in education over the previous budget level, targets more than $300 million for proven early learning programs including scholarships and school readiness aid, and works to attract and keep the best teachers in the classroom.

“This legislation makes meaningful investments in education, funds proven and effective early learning initiatives that best serve our littlest learners and their families, and works to ensure every Minnesota child has access to a world-class education,” said Rep. Loon. "When crafting this legislation, we worked to advance policies that address the needs of our students, schools and educators including tackling our state’s teacher shortage and our broken teacher licensure system, creating a new academic achievement initiative that funds extended time programs that serve low-income students who are falling behind their grade-level peers academically, and making better, smarter investments in education.”

Highlights in House File 890 include:

  • $22 million for a new, targeted academic achievement initiative that funds before school, afterschool and summer programs to help low-income students who are falling behind their grade-level peers

  • Over $300 million for proven early learning programs, including $31 million over base

  • Provides better coordination of our nation-leading mixed delivery system of quality early education options to ensure the best outcomes for at-risk young children and their families

  • $40 million for enhanced school readiness aid that gives 74 school districts with voluntary pre-k more flexibility to either continue the program or fund other early education needs

  • Puts parents in the driver’s seat of their child’s education by allowing them to choose an early learning program that works best for their child and family

  • Continues Republican-led efforts to strengthen teacher recruitment and retention, especially in areas with teacher shortages

  • Repeals the “last in, first out” default in state statute to allow schools and local bargaining units to negotiate mutually beneficial staff retention decisions that better serve students, teachers and schools

  • Protects kids by permitting school districts to provide child sexual abuse prevention instruction

  • Protects kids’ health by requiring school districts to test for the presence of lead in water of public school buildings

  • $2.3 million to implement a new Professional Educator License and Standards Board to replace the troubled Board of Teaching and bring clarity and consistency to our teacher licensure policies

“From putting more money into the classroom to implementing needed reforms, this bill puts Minnesota students first,” concluded Rep. Loon.

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